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Honestly, I don't know how well this will go. I just completed my first real run of the game, and I was kinda curious how an ironman run of this game would play. It has quite a few things going against it in the ironmannability department, first each unit feels like it has its own unique utility, which makes it difficult to call any unit a replacement for another, and second, there are some bonkers weapons on the enemy side, that will simply be difficult to deal with, without a little luck. Plus the game has a lot of events that keep you moving, so a more controlled and slower approach simply isn't going to work well on some maps. Finally its 5 turn save system, gives an ominous hint at how luck based it knows some things are. Although there are a lot of different ways of approaching maps, and rarely is hitting one of its turn limits a game over, just a penalty.

I am going to go a bit image lite on this one, as I am screenshoting via Steam, and that has some form of limit on it, although I can always compensate for that with some talking (and admittedly I think I went a little too sparce with this prologue chapter). Speaking of which, I have already completed the rather trivial Prologue map, so we are jumping straight into this thing.

Spoiler

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We are starting this thing on Orthodox mode. Its the same mode I played through last time, so hopefully it isn't too bad. That is a carefully worded warning there, as I doubt everyone is making it this play-through, but we will see if we have to reload anyway...

Now to summarize the story so far

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We control Zadrian (Zade for short), younger brother of Zecharias ( Zech for short, and he is the supper powered green unit just above him). We are going to escort Princess Atholphis (Athol for short, and the unit to Zade's left)

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To Frall Harbor before the invading empire's army reaches us. There are bandits across the road, so we also have a few knights to escort us, Troy (the mounted one), Bonacel (the older blond one), and Prody (the younger green haired one). Along the way we can visit the information houses for some extra story info, some cute fourth-wall breaking tutorials

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And a small amount of gold to incentivize us to do so. From this we learn a little more about this place. We are from the small island Kingdom of Meleda, and after the Duke of Frist burned an imperial ship to the ground, they invaded our little island nation with the full might of the mainland in retaliation. Meleda doesn't even control the entire island of Vestaria, and while there was a military alliance with the other nations, they all abandoned Meleda to its fate, leading to Athol's father, and two brothers being killed in battle (and her mother died of illness before all this) leaving her the sole heir to the kingdom, and its dynasty. She is also betrothed to Zech, who has send us to bring her to safety in Venecia, with a promise to follow after. And with that out of the way, lets get to the gameplay

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Troy is taking advantage of his high move to range on ahead. He is 1 damage shy of killing anything on enemy phase, so the rest of the army will cleanup after his messes as he goes (and with this game's version of canto he generally get a kill a turn). With Zade I am doing something more clever than this trivial map deserves, Prody has the Good Neighbor skill, which give adjacent allies +3 def/res, and Athol has the Charisma skill, which gives a 5 tile wide +5 avoid buff to all allies in it, so he is as safe as I could make him against his one enemy phase opponent.

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I also wanted to highlight how this game is entirely willing to give random nobodys faces, and give us a small glimpse of even the most unimportant villains, like these little bandits who see the kingdom's woes as a way to move up in a world that gives them no opportunities.

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The game is also introducing us to the idea that maps are going to have anti-turtling incentives, like this one. A bandit is attacking the ships we will use to escape, and if all of the ships are destroyed it is game over. If we can save all of them we will be  rewarded. Speaking of which getting this fools attention is one of Troy's main objectives with his charge south.

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I am realizing just how trivial this map is as Troy is dodging everything, and can really chip these fools down effectively.

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Note, this third boat didn't die, it is just scripted to leave at this point.

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There are also three conversations on this map as well, one between Athol and Zade, one between Prody and Bonacel, and one between Troy and Zade. One of the tutorial houses hint that conversations like this can create Bonds (which have a three space support like mechanic) although I don't think any of these ones actually do anything (maybe the Zade and Athol one does), but they most show that Prody is Bonacel's kouhai, and Troy is the legendary Troy of the Wind. I know people sing his praises, but I found he kind falls off a little in the midgame. Not that he is bad, but this early section of the game he is really good, and he transitions into a merely OK unit latter on.

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We also get this little scene to tell us about real villages that give out better loot than some chump change. The Cutlass is such an iconic weapon in Vestaria Saga, it is a basic sword with a brave effect, and it is about as common as a steel sword in Fire Emblem games. This weapon being so common is one of the things that make swords a great weapon type to have despite not having 2 range.

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Also those bandits with the faces dropped a sellable piece of treasure here (the other had an herb). I should have grabbed an image of it, but they also had battle and death quotes just to spice things up. As might be apparant based on how these things are going, I am feeding the kills Troy leaves behind to Zade, Troy, and Prody. Bonacel is just too high of level to bother with these fools, and if Troy wasn't as high move (with Canto), I wouldn't be feeding him all that many kills either.

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Also Athol is our main healer of the group (for now), and the faced bandits are a bit more competent than the other guff on this map, so Zade needed a little healing after the kill.

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We also get our first level-up of the play-through, and it is a good one. I will note that Prody does have the Diligence skill which gives him +50% exp, and if Zade had that skill he would have leveled up already.

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You might notice that I don't consider thieves much of a threat, but that is a bit deceptive. Their weapon type ignores defense, and they have high speed, so these things will basically deal 2 damage a hit to anyone (so 4 a turn), which makes them less dangerous to squishy units like Athol, but more to tanky units like Bonacel. They also have high avoid, and pass through terrain well, which can make them annoying to deal with...

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I figured I aught to warn you what this game's humor is like sometimes, but it also shows how the game will explain the odd fail conditions in universe. If that last ship on the right dies, you loss, and I like that the game explains that in universe.

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Now I didn't end up going through with this heal here. I thought about it, but it was also clear that he wouldn't be seeing any more combat this map, and I might need that heal staff use on some other map. Perhaps that is too stingy, but you never know. I will also note that Zade is chasing down a thief that has an odd bit of treasure on him, a jeweled knife. Its primary use is to be sold, but it could theoretically be used as a weapon as well.

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I guess I jumped the gun a little with my glib description of this talk between Bonacel, and Prody. Its interesting to see Prody filled with such doubt about Zade, and Zech's description of Zade as a growth unit seems accurate to what I have seen of him on my winning run. By the end he was my best (possibly second best) unit. Heck hitting level 20 two chapters before his promotion was a little awkward, as there were still numerous situations where he would be the best pick, even above units that already promoted at level 20.

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We are coming close to the end here. Troy has reached the pirate attacking the boats before he could hit them enough to kill any of them...although that thief's better terrain movement has kept him ahead of Zade for now...

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But he was close enough to the edge of the forest that I could catch him next turn. This little bas- Jerk, I mean jerk, has an obnoxiously high evasion, so I use the Edelstern's base 120 !!! accuracy to counter that. Its still only 81 accuracy after all that, but I got the kill, and Jeweled Knife from this attack.

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So by turn 7, we have cleared the map of enemies. Now there is still a fair bit of walking, and resource gathering to do. I need to get that Cutlass, gather the rest of the Denari, grab that pink flower (which when examined gives an Herb, which should be translated to FE Vulnerary), and get the Troy& Zade conversation (I never had time before...). This is such a trivial map.

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This little tutorial bit reminds me, I like that this does have its escape maps be everyone escape, and not just the lords.

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That took a bit, but turn 15 clear.

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And we even get an extra 1200 Denari from our quick maneuver with Troy. And so Zade is away, with the rescued princess in tow, although

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it looks like Zech isn't going to be able to fulfill his promise. Actually I do kinda like how that does look like an army you might face in the late game

 

Now most chapters are bigger than this, and I think I will split up maps based on certain objectives in the future. Also I am thinking about going for a bit more images in the next one, and would like to hear people's preferences, more story/side story shots to back up my summary, some in-battle animation shots, some extra shots to give context for where I am moving each turn, some shots showing why I make certain decisions, etc.

Have fun, and take care everyone!

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Don´t forget to recruit Amundsen.

Any idea what you´re gonna do with Merida?

 

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Sounds like fun! I've never tried an iron man of this game and only played through it once. let us know how it goes because I might try that in the future.

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Lots of good fortune to you! Don't let Kaga catch you with his Kagaisms!

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This seems like a fun time. Havent actually checked the game out yet so this should be a good indicator to know if i'd enjoy it. My biggest question is does it have more of the good Thracia jank (fun hidden mechanics, wacky growths, nonstandardised enemies) or the bad Thracia jank (Invisible warp tiles, no map preview, player only ink of war). 

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9 hours ago, BrightBow said:

Best of luck.

I will probably need it.

 

5 hours ago, Imuabicus said:

Don´t forget to recruit Amundsen.

Ah this old meme. He does seem like a recruitable unit with his face, name, and relatively non-villainous lines...

 

5 hours ago, Imuabicus said:

 

Any idea what you´re gonna do with Merida?

I hope I can recruit her early, as her magic sword utility is really useful, but it is entirely down to green unit luck. If she gets captured as a green unit, I guess I will have to take her latter recruitment option. Its not like I can reset for it on an ironman.

 

4 hours ago, JimmyBeans said:

Sounds like fun! I've never tried an iron man of this game and only played through it once. let us know how it goes because I might try that in the future.

Just one word of warning, if you plan on doing a screen-shot LP like I am, you are going to have to go into the .ini file for it, as the game's default control scheme uses Steam's default screen-shot button to reset the game, and accessing the .ini file is how you change the controls...

 

4 minutes ago, Saint Rubenio said:

Lots of good fortune to you! Don't let Kaga catch you with his Kagaisms!

Fortunately I am not going in blind, so hopefully I will have a heads up on any nasty surprises. Although the low hit rates are already starting to get to me a little.

 

10 minutes ago, Pengaius said:

This seems like a fun time. Havent actually checked the game out yet so this should be a good indicator to know if i'd enjoy it. My biggest question is does it have more of the good Thracia jank (fun hidden mechanics, wacky growths, nonstandardised enemies) or the bad Thracia jank (Invisible warp tiles, no map preview, player only ink of war). 

None of the bad Thracia jank you described is in the game, but the assassin enemies with a skill that makes them invisible on the map (hopefully I get far enough for those to show up, as they are both hilarious and annoying) seem in the same ballpark. I will probably talk a bit more about countering that hilarious skill when it becomes more relevant.

As for good Thracia jank, this game is perfectly happy to let you use some crazy weapons (although you do face some as well...). There are often interesting map events (personally I love all of the siege maps...). Growths tend to be low, but some units have some odd spreads with things like Merida as the magic sword specialist, and the unique promotion one character gets when they reach level 15 that just give +20 HP (and -1 MOB which should be read as move). There is some jank with regard to critical, as you need a skill to raise your crit rate above the base weapon (most people get it on promotion, and it is always reduced by luck...). Actually a lot of interesting skills, like Troy has something similar to Adept (AGI, which should be read as Speed x3% chance of an extra attack), and at level 10 learns Triple threat, which gives a 20% chance of turning a regular attack into a triple attack as well. Some funky things like Axe Defend, which give a STR% chance of ignoring an enemy attack, or Aegis being a MAG% of ignoring an attack, Lurk which increase terrain bonuses by 50% etc.

I should probably cover our unit's skills and gush a little about the personal weapon Zade starts with (and a new character gets) in this update.

 

36 minutes ago, blindcoco.studios said:

That sounds like a horrible, but very fun, idea. I wonder if anyone has done one successfully to this day

Your comment got me curious enough to do a basic youtube search of Vestaria Saga ironmans, and I only found like 3 attempts, the furthest I have seen reached was chapter 7 (that one was blind too...), but I don't think I have seen any of them end in game overs either, just stopped updating...

 

Now for the first part of chapter 1, up to the rescue of Lucca Village.

Spoiler

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And so our heroes seek refuge in Venecia, from Zade's brother-in-law

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Ritton, the Dolge of Venecia. Venecia is a merchant republic, and while Ritton has been elected Dolge he has political enemies in the concio, most notably Senator Dulles, who uses "concerns" about the nepotistic nature of the Dolge granting his brother-in-law refuge in Venecia as a way to threaten Ritton politically. The Dolge Ritton emphasizes Zade's small military force, and competency as a commander as a means of dealing with Venecia's bandit crisis, but

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Senator Dulles tricks Zade into agreeing to a time-limit, or else be expelled from Venecia, and force Ritton to face sanctions for his faulty reasons for protecting the Meledan refugees. This is a bit of an issue as the bandit problem is fairly major

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We are talking multiple large chapters major, as two of Venecia's provinces are fully under control of the Gallachian Brigands. The Venecian's rely on mercenaries as their primary military force, and their mercenaries, Captain Vilweiss's Free Company, refuse to venture beyond its walls and confront the bandits

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Although there are pockets of resistance amongst the villages of Venecia, and our first main objective of the map (and where I will end off this update) is to combine forces with this militia.

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Fortunately these bandits aren't very well organized this far away from their base of operations.

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Although not all the villages in the north are as prepared as Lucca, as the village this joke Paul Revere is from is entirely defenseless (without Troy's help)

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Unfortunately Atholphis was left safely behind in Veneica, meaning we are without a healer for this stretch, and will have to rely on our herbs. Oh before I forget, I should probably say a few words about each of our playable units, but for those who aren't interested I will put them in a spoiler box

Spoiler

Lets start with Zade, he is the Lord so his death generally means a game over; he starts at level 1, can use Standard Swords, gets his unique promotion item after chapter 15, and by the end of the game was arguably my best unit on my winning run. He starts with 2 skills, Commander 1, which gives all allies within 3 space +10 accuracy, and Critical Edge meaning he adds his DEX (think skill) to the crit rate of his weapon. He also starts with the personal weapon the Edelsertn, which has a two attack brave effect (I specify as there are weapons with 3 attack brave effects, 4 attack brave effects, 5 attack brave effect, and even the terrifying 6 attack brave effects...), it has 120 base accuracy, 15 base crit, 7 might, and is effective against enemies with the Knights and Heavy Knights movement types (Note: in this game that multiplies the total attack power (not just weapon's might) by 1.5 before reducing defense/resistance to calculate damage), finally while equipped it gives Zade the Orison skill, which increases his evasion when he is below half health (by 50x(HP lost/Total HP)).

Next Troy, he has the Heavy Cavalry movement type, which gives him this game's form of Canto, which is the opposite of the Canto in the GBA games. You can use the rest of your movement after you attack, but must end you movement if you trade/convoy/use items. He starts at level 4, can use Standard Swords and Standard Spears (note almost all 1-2 range spears are of the Throwing Spear weapon type...), and starts with the Multichance skill, which gives him a AGLx3% chance of turning a standard attack into a brave effect (I believe if the weapon he is wielding already has a brave effect they multiply...).

Then we have Bonacel, he is a Guardian with the Knight movement type, mean he has 4 Mobility, and a high base defense. He also starts at level 7, the highest in our army, and can wield both Standard Spears, and Throwing Spears. He starts with the Shield skill, which gives him a DEX% chance of ignoring an enemy attack, and the Wrath skill, which increases the crit rate of his weapon by 25 when counter attacking.

Finally we have Prody, who like Bonacel is a Guardian, but is only level 2. Although he does start with the Good Neighbor 1 Skill, which gives adjacent allies a +3 DEF/RES, and the Diligence skill which gives him +50% exp.

Note, as these characters gain skills through level-up or promotion, and get notable personal weapons, I will mention them when they arrive...

 

Now I start getting into a strategy that I would use fairly regularly this map, having Prody use a Javelin to chip, that way Zade can be adjacent to him (and gain that +3 DEF/RES) when he tries for the kill. Although accuracy rates are kinda shaky (unless I use the Edelstern), so that isn't always a sure kill

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But it gets Zade this mediocre levelup on the first turn. I will also note that PROF is short for Proficiency, as Kaga brought back the old stat from FE1/3 that determines how good of weapons you can wield.

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I made sure the defense boosted Zade is the only one in enemy range, as we get some dialogue from one of the most notable meme's of the game, Amundsen. It is a long running joke that you can recruit this lackadaisical mercenary, but he is just some random loot carrying enemy that Kaga gave a face, a name, and some lines to. The three green unit militia group also pops out of Lucca village, although their healer

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remains in the village for now, and makes it clear that her death (or the burning of the village) WILL be a defeat condition.

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Unfortunately I lured that brigand onto some Palms terrain, which is giving it an extra 15 evade, meaning I miss the kill even after all my player phase attacks. Troy is moving as far ahead as he can this turn to reach the two villages, with one of my herbs, and the Cutlass to cut through these bandits. I also move Bonacel to block Amundsen, although that proves unnecessary, as he doesn't move in for the attack.

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Prody then follows in his lord's footsteps with this enemy phase level-up

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While Troy kills one of those bandits with a face. Ironically by not waiting for the others...

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The Lucca band of green units is holding strong, and will stay in that little formation surrounding the village entrance. This does let that axe-wielder get a free attack on their archer, but each turn the healer pops out of the village to heal one of them, before going back inside, so as long as we don't take too long it should be alright.

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Despite the +3 DEF I have been arranging for Zade to have every turn, he is being whittled down, and taking this hit after missing the kill on that bandit is a bit frustrating. He can take the enemy phase hit, but it is a shame I don't have Athol to heal him, as next turn he is going to have to start digging into my herb supply.

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Troy also earns his first level, which is alright. Many times doubling thresholds aren't tight in this game, but this is also increasing his Multichance skill proc rate, which is nice.

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Although all that is left for my main army to do is face Amundsen and get that Merc Sword drop from his cold dead hands.

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Zade also uses an herb, and Troy clears away that bandit from in front of Lucca, but he needs to rush over to the other village.

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Then the game's edgelord swordsman kills two of his bandit compatriots just for looking at him funny.

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RIP Amundsen, many a Vestaria player has wished you were recruitable.

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Alas the main army has three more bandits charging in, while Edgy Mc Edgelord holds the chokepoint into our objective for next update. Also I decide to have Troy ignore that archer, which I would come to regret.

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Unfortunately I miss a shot of Zade's second level-up, but looking at his stats here he got +1 HP, +1 STR, and +1 DEX

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And I head back into a more defensive position to have Zade use another herb (and benefit from the +20 avoid of the forest), with Prody buffing both their defenses. One of these bandits drops an axe, but he is also much faster than the rest of his gang (thanks in small part to its low weight), so Zade can't double him, and he doubles both of our Guardians. Also Troy secured the other village (and was rewarded with some money to boot).

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Meanwhile this moronic enemy archer decides to attack the green archer, instead of getting a free shot on one of the axey boys. To be fair one does have a 1-2 range axe, but this is kinda silly.

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And that archer also drops a bow, so Troy is trying to reach him in time to earn the drop, although

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he doesn't make it in time. As for the main army, the fast Axe-man has taken up some terrain, and thanks to Guardian's terrible move I can't get into a formation that protects Prody, so instead I go all out on the offensive, which means he takes a nasty enemy phase hit where he gets doubled, and takes a lot of damage from the guy with the dropable axe.

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At least we kill him next turn. Now all that is left is to get Zade over to Lucca village (as it is both part of our victory condition and necessary for recruit the greenies). Although while the main army marches

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Troy gathers some information about those fools from the locals with some mixed results. Apparantly the three of them rescued that Sestra Alysia from the bandits in town, and that is part of what started up their armed resistance. Although not everyone has faith in these three.

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Also I feed the last two bandit kills to Zade, but

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That leaves him 1 space away from visiting Lucca village...oh well

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Zade gets to Lucca village on turn 13, but I think I will go a tiny bit further. Every 5 turns the game allows you to make a save before moving any units, so the turn 15 save is where I will stop this update (and play session).

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We also get some commentary on class by the militia group, and given that nobles in Venecia have kinda left them to the wolves until now, they have a point. Although they all end up joining our little army after Sastra Alysia decides to join us.

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Also Dune gets one of his oddest personal bows, the Elder Cornelius. It has two uses max, a brave effect, 120 hit, 12 might, and 20 crit. In my first playthrough I held onto it throughout the entirety of the game, never really using it, as its only really good for one kill. Admittedly that one round of combat will be really good for the early game, and there are two obvious places I can think to use it. One would be at the start of next update, so I will talk about that decision next time, although the other is...I want to say chapter 4, against one of those Wyrms he warned about, and I am kinda leaning towards using it there.

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And now I have 4 more units. I think I will wait for next update to really talk about them, although one funny thing to note is that Alysia doesn't start with an actual heal staff.

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but fortunately Athol's inventory was moved to the stockpile, which any unit can access while adjacent to Zade (and Zade can access it anytime), to then heal up the injured Prody.

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Also Zade has a dramatic little conversation with the Sestra in which she saves him from a perilous wound.

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Here is where I will sign off for today, at the turn 15 save. Its kinda fitting that both updates have been exactly 15 turns so far...

Have fun, and take care everyone.

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7 hours ago, Eltosian Kadath said:

AM-JKLWow8yVBjJw_60bhldItKG7L7hC_-lEsGSk

Here is where I will sign off for today, at the turn 15 save. Its kinda fitting that both updates have been exactly 15 turns so far...

All the axe guys waving goodbye. How sweet.

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On 7/3/2022 at 9:53 AM, BrightBow said:

All the axe guys waving goodbye. How sweet.

That was rather good timing

 

Spoiler

When last we left off

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We were working on the next major leg of chapter 1, retaking Else harbor. We end things off with a classic sieze objective (although I will note that visiting Lucca village is required).

Now I put this off last time, but I think its time to talk about our 4 (kinda) recruits. I guess I spoiler boxed this talk last time, so I guess I will do the same here

Spoiler

First we have two units that look rather similar at first glance, our axey boys Ash and Jean, and while I didn't much with the units I had before, I am going to need to talk about future events to seriously distinguish these two. The biggest difference in base stats is that Jean has higher strength, and Ash has higher proficiency (and can thus use better weapons), but these units grow into very different units

Ash starts with one skill, Mettle, which increase his crit rate by (HP lost/Total HP)x 50 when his HP is below 50% (same formula as Orision, but as a Wrath like skill instead of Prayer like skill, although there are other wrath and prayer like skills out there). Now Ash leasrns quite a few skills as he levels up, first at level 8 he gets Lightfoot, which just increases MOB by 1, and at 15 he learns Herb Forager, which gives him a 15% chance of getting a free Herb at the start of each turn (until turn...23?). Also he gets the Critical Edge skill (the add DEX to crit rate) on promotion, but that is very common.

Now Jean has a unique...well I think I have called it promotion before, but I guess class change is more accurate. At level 15 unpromoted he will become the Goliath class, which increases his health by 20 but decrease his MOB by 1, and it doesn't reset his level (or give him the Advanced Class skill, which reduces Exp gains to 60%). Now you can use go through his standard promotion even after becoming Goliath, but you do end up losing that 20 HP bonus. He doesn't learn a lot of skills like Ash does, with just Axe Defender (STR% chance to ignore an enemy attack), and getting Critical Edge on promotion, but instead can get a rather powerful, and interesting personal weapon, and while I don't want to get into details about the weapon now, when equipped it adds a skill that is a little too relevant not to mention as it just gives the Industry skill, that gives him a 15% chance to act again (like a Thracia Movement Star skill...), and I would often just equip it outside of combat to have that chance (heck I had it at like 1 use for multiple maps on my last run, and would just use it outside of combat...)

Finally we have Dune, who is a surprisingly important character for the class most often deride by FE fans, an infantry archer. A big part of that there points in the last 4 chapters where he is one of the best units to use, if he were trained, but I need to get extra spoilery to talk about it, so time for another nested spoiler box...

Spoiler

The first of these moments is in chapter 17, as the ability to climb crags (which I will talk more about in the real update), and with good 2 range makes him one of the best units to deal with the siege weapons that are guarding the front entrance to the prison. Now there are other ways of dealing with this, there is another unit that can do something similar with 1-2 range axes, but you really want to send her around the back (and there is an event with Dune that makes you want to send him around the front) and there is a 3 range weapon you could use to accomplish something similar, but that takes a fair bit of planing (and is kinda uncommon). The second is the boss fight of chapter 19, he is one of like 3 units even capable of damaging it, so having him trained well enough to help out, makes that fight a LOT easier. Finally there is the trapped section past the Kings Path in the final chapter. The Kings Path only allows infantry to pass, and there is an enemy you need to clear away to access a lever to allow your cavalry to reach the final boss. One of Dune's personal bows gives him Canto while equipped, and that lets him kill this enemy without falling into the trap, and he is the only unit that can accomplish that, so having a trained Dune lets you avoid that trap...

Dune starts with the Ambush skill, which gives him a AGLx5% chance of attacking first when an enemy attacks, and also get the Multichance skill (AGLx3% adept skill basically) through levelup

Finally there is Alysia, she is a healer, and she is not going to be around for long, so don't get too attached.

One important thing I do need to mention is that most of the new recruits, Dune, Ash, and Jean, all have a movement type that lets them climb crags, and it is a bit of a story point that they can climb trees. I bring this up now, as it is important to note for a bit of a tricky decision I have to make

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So only those three can reach him, if I can kill him I get a sack of coins worth 500 Denari, but he has a Crooked Axe, a weapon that inspires a fair bit of fear on an ironman (but not much otherwise). None of those three can survive a hit from that thing (although the hit chance is low). Now I could burn Dune's first personal weapon, the Elder Cornelius on him, as it has just enough might to one round him, but instead I want to keep for a little later on, so I think I will play it safe here, and just let him be. Instead I will get Dune's talk with Sestra Alysia out of the way

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And the poor kid has a crush on her. To be fair

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She did nurse him back to health after being seriously harmed in rescuing her.

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Now there are a few enemies to deal with, and I feed the kills to Dune and

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get Zade a level. At least she got some STR. Now its time to talk about the next obstacle of this map

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Haldyn, lord of the edge. He is complicated a bit by his skills, as he has the critical edge skill (so he always has a crit rate), the Multichance skill (so he might get more attacks than you think), and the Mettle skill (which increase his crit rate by (HP lost/Total HP)x 50 when his HP is below 50%), so the more damaged he is, the more dangerous he is. He also has high evade, and a source of healing, so he can be a bit dangerous. Admittedly crits are only double damage in this game, so they aren't as dangerous as FE has drilled into all of us.

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And Bonacel can reach the defense threashold to take 0 damage from him. I will note that the +3 defense is actually from the weapon he has equipped, the Phalanx Lance, with Prody's help he could bump that even higher. Now one more axeman bursts out, and I feed that kill to Dune before

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Bonacel can get into position...but that hit rate is terrible. This may take a few turns

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If you were saying that to any other unit, I might agree with you edgling. Fortunately I get luck on the first enemy phase, and get the first hit, now I just need to get one more

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This could do it...

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If this hits, Dune could finish it for a kill...

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Now that Prody is adjacent I can use his other spear, and this is my last chance to kill before he can heal (without digging out the Elder Cornelius...)

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Bonacel soloed the beast it seems. Poor guy is crying over his missing (and mind controlled) sister...

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And now the NPCs come and save him, because we have to have an edgelord on the team to use all the swords.

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Kaga just can't help bringing a Navarre like character into this, as the guy is a seemingly heartless merc with a soft spot for the ladies. We will recruit him eventually, but for now he has to be established as surviving his "death".

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I do like little details like this, where the NPC is dragging him to safety.

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Now I will intetionally break this sword of Troy's, so I can feed another bandit kill to Dune instead of Troy or Bonacel. I know I am feeding him a fair number of kills, but I want to train him up in preparation for the future.

AM-JKLVFFqU_o_DgpCrHqPQvrdhe7J4CBTrW2YYt

Unfortunately this doesn't draw in that last bandit, and I am playing a little careful as (sorry to jump ahead a little in the images here but)

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The boss has one of the very few 1-3 weapons in the game, so its easy

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to make a mistake exactly like this one that I make on the very next turn...

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Fortunately the boss does not have the attack speed to double, or else I would have been in real trouble

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and Prody gets a forgettable level from it. Now we do draw the last mobile enemy out into the open, so Dune gets another kill for

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...Come on Dune, give me a better level than that.

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Now it is only the boss to deal with. I guess there are also a pair of houses to visit, and I could do some shopping if I wanted...

AM-JKLV6Abh_jXxcR1tvENVREoquJhCUQzhIJGSG

Speaking of which, lets deal with this boss. Poor guy is slow enough even Bonacel can double him. Although I wait for enemy phase just in case

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That way I have more options for who to feed the kill to

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Like Dune (or if either of those two had missed Zade)

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Dune...I just feed you an 100 exp boss kill. Sigh...

Well I better grab those two houses for

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A sword, and

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A stat booster that should be saved for a few chapters (as I don't have anyone that benefits very much from MAG).

I will also show off

AM-JKLUfCrDLEgZZZyuylZWW2k7TCDmww8DDUizWAM-JKLUhfBg5Xd2CQ89QiMQzqfsyMErC2RYfpoS-

We can Thracia trade in this game. Now I could spend a turn or two on item management, or shopping, but instead

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I think I will finish things on this turn. I guess this update will be a little shorter turnwise, at only 9...

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We did earn some praise from our tactician for that chapter. Now for the setup to next chapter's side objective.

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Oh right, we have to talk Haldyn into joining

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Or I guess talk Zade into letting him join. He seems to have picked up some rather bad habits from Reese...

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He has the Navarre's strong. Truly the edgelord with a heart of gold.

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But it will be a few chapters until he joins us, as we injured him badly enough to need some recovery time.

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Now we need to establish why we are going on a bit of a side trip, despite our harsh time limit, and of course

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Its to go rescue some children from the horrors of slavery. Hard to blame him for that one, plus we get an opportunity to recruit one of my favorite characters to use early.

 

Not sure if I will get the next update up tomorrow, or the day after. I know, its a fast pace, but I am hoping to hit some end to this before Vestaria Saga 2 comes out.

In the meantime, take care everyone.

Edited by Eltosian Kadath

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23 hours ago, Eltosian Kadath said:

AM-JKLU6rm-KX2dkklcPzTYC1ZduCSOEvJzR-PUd

If you were saying that to any other unit, I might agree with you edgling. Fortunately I get luck on the first enemy phase, and get the first hit, now I just need to get one more

It's so cute how he thinks he is the game's Navarre.

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20 hours ago, BrightBow said:

It's so cute how he thinks he is the game's Navarre.

I mean, he kinda is this game's Navarre.

 

Now for the first part of chapter 2. I am tempted to do the entire chapter in a single update, as I ended up doing the whole gameplay in a single sitting (as I forgot to save before acting on the turn that would have made the most sense as a break point on this map), but I already planned it out for the two part split...so expect the next update tomorrow for sure.

Spoiler

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I like how it actually has our little boat sails into our starting position. Then we get a rather consise bit of story content where we get told

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Our final objective for the map

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And our objective for our update today.

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Plus some talk about the green unit we can recruit (if we are lucky...)

AM-JKLWCI0B3-CJEE5KBxuT_chxUVKqKnFXamaIZ

This is the first time we get access to the battle preps, and there is one particularly important one to do, make sure your crag climbers (so the boys from Lucca) in the southernmost deployment spots, as long as you are trying to save Merida.

AM-JKLXQn9dAHXU1JAvwQU3kfNA005019HrB4mAp

The nautical types always have the most colorful insults.

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I do appreciate this game's sense of humor, but I suspect that is an acquired taste...

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I also like the way they are both mechanically explicit about our time limit, while also trying to maintain verisimilitude.

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Then we have a nice little hint that Merida's defeat as a green unit doesn't necessarily mean death (and why she is in some real trouble), although once we get into the gameplay I will get into more detail about that.

AM-JKLVcseHXuhQQ6UOHBQo8fm1nOJCPg0vs-jY8
Speaking of which, as you can see here, all of my units that can climb the crags, are in an attempt to save Merida while everyone else is moving as quickly as the can around to the south. Now the long path is a little complicated by that pirate across the rives, as it has one of the 1-2 range axes, and can cross those river tiles, while my units can't...

AM-JKLVULx9WMPRvRU2oyC7v5Ek8jaIC0EtnU5MW

Unfortunately before we can reach her, Merida has to face a chance of defeat. Her only weapon is her rather good personal weapon, the Dandelion spear, it has a two attack brave effect, and gives her +6 AGL while equipped (it is also effective against armored units, but that isn't relevant now), which means she will quad and almost certainly kill all of the enemies that charge in to attack her. She will face 4 attacks roughly in the mid-30s accuracy, and she has to dodge two to survive the turn. Now even Kaga recognized that this is kinda bullshit, so he throws the player a bone. If she "dies" here you can't recruit her now, but instead later into the game you can recruit her as a promoted unit, with a unique promoted class, with some skills she can only get by this latter recruitment option (most notably the Black Horse skill, that increases all her growths by 10%, but also the multi-chance skill). Now you do lose her personal weapon, the Dandelion with this latter recruitment, and you obviously wont have her for this early section of the game, but it is a lot better than missing out on a character (and I think there might even be people that prefer the Silken Knight version of her).

AM-JKLXHntLT_EnE-tktpvz-WCcNFZH6FBiD_SCC

Luckily for us this is the only hit she ends up taking, so I should be able to pull off the earlier recruitment as

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Jean can plant himself in front of her and bash his axe into anyone that approaches. Plus the rest of the crag climbers can get there to support him in case things start going south.

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Now that pirate across the river keeps me from advancing with the healer, but hopefully he will put himself into a more vulnerable position with its attack this turn.

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And fortunately it does, as it dies here (fun fact, Troy spent his attack missing this guy).

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Now this placement is a little dangerous, as if everything hit he will be left with 2 health, but he does have the benefits of the forest's evade bonus, and I want to make a good pace to recruit Merida before I seize the wharf in that time limit (its not the end of the world if I recruit her after the seize, but it would be nice). Also thing have gotten a little complicated in the north, as Jean has hit the point where two hits will kill him, so I have him wait, and only attack on enemy phase. He has had no luck, and has yet to hit this thing, so I might need to swap him for Ash soon.

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The "Arrrr" pirate is by far the most dangerous of them, with this droppable Battleaxe, but he fortunately misses.

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Just like Troy does on player phase...Although to make up for it

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I managed this fun little maneuver

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For a kinda lucky kill and

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A nice little levelup on Bonacel. Although the Troy double miss does mean

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I have to pull out the Edelstern. It is a good weapon, and I don't like wasting it on guff like this, but sometimes you just have to bite the bullet. At least he doesn't waste any of it on enemy phase, as the only thing that attacks him does so at 2 range.

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Then Troy wows the world with a blank levelup on the kill on that 1-2 range pirate. His luck has just been miserable this map.

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Although we are making a good pace, and Jean got lucky enemy phase with a dodge and hit against that generic he has been constantly missing.

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Jean did finally pull off the enemy phase kill, turning all his luck around in the last two turns.

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And Zade gets a respectable levelup on the kill on the last generic. All that is left is the minor boss holding the seize point.

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And I think I am going to save this first round of combat

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For enemy phase, in case his luck continues.

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All these minor boss quotes are so dramatic...

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And I think I will give Jean the level for all that work he did saving Merida

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...meh.

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Looking at the turns, I just barely have enough time to recruit Merida before the 10 turn limit on the seize, as I know that turn limit penalties hit at the end of the turn it stated.

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Also the little house on this map give out some healing items when you visit them, so I grab those while Zade move over to recruit Merida

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And she is rather cocky for a unit that can die turn 1....

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Also she ducks any questions about her origins until much later in the game.

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On the last turn before they leave Zade

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Seizes the wharf and recues all of children ready to be sold into slavery. While Zade was walking over to Merida, everyone else was approaching the raised bridge that is obviously going to lower after I seize.

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Thankfully all of the little children are saved thanks to making it in time

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And the next half of the map opens up, as

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We must now seize their cavernous base of operations, but I will save that for tomorrow.

Sorry for cutting this off at a natural break point (that I failed to save at like a fool), but I will update the rest of it tomorrow. Stay strong, and take care everyone.

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14 hours ago, Eltosian Kadath said:

AM-JKLWDFUIM_rUYVozmBOcMS3RVlfQDgkZxdRwl

Plus some talk about the green unit we can recruit (if we are lucky...)

Love how Garlan says she either has to be a remarkable fighter or a damned fool. Then you get to immediately check out her stats and you can tell where this is going.
 

14 hours ago, Eltosian Kadath said:

I do appreciate this game's sense of humor, but I suspect that is an acquired taste...

Check out that sign at the starting point.
 

14 hours ago, Eltosian Kadath said:

Unfortunately before we can reach her, Merida has to face a chance of defeat. Her only weapon is her rather good personal weapon, the Dandelion spear, it has a two attack brave effect, and gives her +6 AGL while equipped (it is also effective against armored units, but that isn't relevant now), which means she will quad and almost certainly kill all of the enemies that charge in to attack her. She will face 4 attacks roughly in the mid-30s accuracy, and she has to dodge two to survive the turn. Now even Kaga recognized that this is kinda bullshit, so he throws the player a bone. If she "dies" here you can't recruit her now, but instead later into the game you can recruit her as a promoted unit, with a unique promoted class, with some skills she can only get by this latter recruitment option (most notably the Black Horse skill, that increases all her growths by 10%, but also the multi-chance skill). Now you do lose her personal weapon, the Dandelion with this latter recruitment, and you obviously wont have her for this early section of the game, but it is a lot better than missing out on a character (and I think there might even be people that prefer the Silken Knight version of her).

It seems to be meant to encourage you to go along with whatever fate hands you. But if you don't want to miss out on her... well, it's turn 1. Just reload. No harm done.

Still, for the purpose of an ironman, I most certainly wouldn't mind reloading at this point.

 

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4 hours ago, BrightBow said:

Check out that sign at the starting point.

I am glad I kept a start of chapter save for each chapter on my first run, as being able to check that sign did add to the joke.

 

9 hours ago, BrightBow said:

But if you don't want to miss out on her... well, it's turn 1. Just reload. No harm done.

Fun fact, that is what I had to do on my first run of the game...

 

5 hours ago, BrightBow said:

Still, for the purpose of an ironman, I most certainly wouldn't mind reloading at this point.

For the purposes of ironmanning, it felt most appropriate to take what luck would give me. I mean, I risked the green deaths on an FE7 HHM ironman too, and those lead to either losing a recruit, or down right game-over...

While I am glad I got the early recruitment, it would have been a good excuse to test out her latter recruitment version out.

 

Spoiler

When last we left off

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the second half of this map started, and I kinda forgot this event triggers in the middle of the turn, so about half the units over there have already acted. Well the most important thing is to kill that nearby pirate that lowered the bridge (that way he can't butcher our healer), and while hit-rates are bad (mostly thanks to the +25 evade of the river)

AM-JKLW0Ybn9GPT1K3WeAd9VurRCXCixzjWsI6cI

I not only manage to take him out, but press in a little to draw these guys in. That doesn't result in a great enemy phase as a majority of them had 1-2 range, and most of my units weren't prepared for that (only Prody had a 1-2 range Pilum equipped), so they just get a bunch of free hits (but mostly misses) in.

AM-JKLWsDF6VU-wV8mTyM4ZPwKebRZV5wID83Id3

Plus pirates are going to just keep coming from the cave until I get close enough to trigger the boss's arrival...Well I now have a target rich environment for my army to cut through and I start with

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getting Merida a kill. Unfortunately the only weapon she starts with is the Dandelion, but at least its an easy kill...

Which reminds me, I never did specifically talk about Merida as a unit yet. Time for a little spoiler box about that, but I will keep it short, as I tip-toed around the topic already.

Spoiler

Now I have already talked about her personal weapon, the Dandelion, a fair bit already, and its only real weakness is that it is a physical weapon, and she has an odd stat spread where her Magic is higher than her Strength. This leads into her fun niche, as she has access to a bunch of magic swords, and is really good with them. Specifically the weapon types she can use are Standard Spesars, Standard Sword, and Maiden Swords, so she doesn't really have 1-2 range access, but the Standard Sword, and Maiden Swords have a fair number of magic weapons for her to use. She also has some nice skills at base (even the early version here), with one that simply gives her +20 evasion at all times, and the other gives her +1 move, which is extra good on a mounted unit with Canto. I think she is a rather fun unit to use, and I am glad I got the early version (even if it would have been interesting to test out the other version on this run).

As for the rest of the turn, I get rather lucky, as there were a fair number of hits with accuracy in the 50-60 range, and by the end of it

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Things have been cleared out here a lot quicker than I was expecting them to be.

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I mean things like this keep hitting, so I can press in...

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as much as this slowing "waste" terrain will let me.

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You might also notice that I am sending Merida off to some corner of the map, because there is a really, really, REALLY important item hiding on that beach that someone has to grab.

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These wastes slow us down for another turn (with the reinforcement having suicided on Troy on enemy phase), but at least I can use crag movement to mitigate how much of a bottle neck this terrain is, but next turn

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I got close enough to trigger the boss to arrive, and sit in the cave that was spawning enemies. At the same time

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Merida finally reaches this funny little seashell you can examine on the beach to get

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You might also notice that I cleared away the enemies that got close on enemy phase in the north as well.

I almost forgot about this, but

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The second half of the map triggers the option for more talks, and the armored knights are rather impressed with out climbing farm boy.

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While those axey-boys are impressed with Zade's swordsmanship. This has gone very smoothly, as all that is left is the boss

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But this could take a little while

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Although with Troy able to Canto after this hit, and a Pilum hit from Prody I should be able to finish him

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On the next enemy phase for a full level on Zade. Thank goodness Prody gave both those guys a +3 defense, otherwise they wouldn't be surviving well enough to pull this off as fast.

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Sorry mate, your reign of piracy is over.

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And getting a defense levelup on my lord is a stellar boon. Now all I need to do is seize, but I wait one turn so

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that Zade can use our first stat booster

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Given his death is a game over, he is the obvious choice for a defense stat booster.

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Seizing on turn 20, makes these last two updates exactly 10 turns each.

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The pirates are done, and

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We were even quick enough (and didn't get Dune killed somehow) to earn an extra stat booster from the end of the chapter. Not sure who I will use this on yet, as it is kinda the worst of them. I will probably end up either giving it to one of the axey-boys or someone that has a DEX based skill, not sure yet.

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Huh, Athol is only is only 14 at this point...Given that Zade's older sister is roughly 10-13 years older than him (she went to Venecia when she was old enough to marry, which I am estimating around the 16-18 range, and hasn't seen Zade in 10-11 years since then), and I seem to remember Zech is older than that, so it leads to Zech being (approximately) at least twice Athol's age. This really is emphasizing how strange the arranged marriages of these nobles houses are, at least from our modern perspective

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I feel like this is emphasizing how childish Athol's feelings for Zech really are.

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As one last little boon for this mission, we get our first item that is capable of repairing one of our weapons, personal weapons included. These things get more common as the game goes on, and they are key to getting these amazing personal weapons to last the whole game long.

Next time we start what I remember as the first that start to show off what Vestaria Saga was all about. Have fun, and take care everyone.

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1 hour ago, Eltosian Kadath said:

Huh, Athol is only is only 14 at this point...Given that Zade's older sister is roughly 10-13 years older than him (she went to Venecia when she was old enough to marry, which I am estimating around the 16-18 range, and hasn't seen Zade in 10-11 years since then), and I seem to remember Zech is older than that, so it leads to Zech being (approximately) at least twice Athol's age. This really is emphasizing how strange the arranged marriages of these nobles houses are, at least from our modern perspective

It's a rather strange setup. Both Zade and later Athol share the conviction that Zech doesn't see her as his bride to be, nor thinks her feelings for him are genuine romantic affection. And Zech does not seem the kinda guy who would marry an adolescent to approve his social standing. AND Zech is the lord of a backwater territory. So the royal family has little to gain from marrying Athol into his family.
So just why in the world are they betrothed?

Sadly Garlan only spills the beans on this in an ending scene that only occurs if both Theodel and Accorte are dead.
So hey, maybe you will see it on this run.

Still, the explanation is rather mundane. I doubt it's meant to be some kind of big reveal. So no clue why the game is so secretive about it.

Edited by BrightBow

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On 7/2/2022 at 7:06 PM, blindcoco.studios said:

That sounds like a horrible, but very fun, idea. I wonder if anyone has done one successfully to this day

I've never tried it with VS1, but I managed to do a successful ironman of VS2 last year. 
Arguably, VS1 might be tougher just because Ch17 can softlock you if you lose the wrong units beforehand.

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3 hours ago, BrightBow said:

Zech is the lord of a backwater territory. So the royal family has little to gain from marrying Athol into his family.
So just why in the world are they betrothed?

I do think you are underselling the importance of Redessa. It is one of Meleda's marches, one of its territories on the border, and marcher lords are generally given more privileges because they will be on the front lines if Meleda is ever invaded, and need to be better prepared for military action at the drop of a hat. The game has already made clear that both the old Duke and Zech have experience as military leaders, and while marrying into the Redessas wouldn't be a step up, it would be a way of consolidating the military power of the kingdom. If the old king was worried about invasion, rebellion, or planning some conquest of his own, this betrothal makes a fair bit of sense.

 

3 hours ago, BrightBow said:

 

Sadly Garlan only spills the beans on this in an ending scene that only occurs if both Theodel and Accorte are dead.
So hey, maybe you will see it on this run.

I kind hope I don't lose all my mages by the end of this thing, but I guess that is one of those things to look forward to on an ironman.

 

7 hours ago, Spara said:

I've never tried it with VS1, but I managed to do a successful ironman of VS2 last year. 

Part of what inspired me to start this was @Saint Rubenio saying he thinks VS2 would be a better game to ironman. The other part was seeing someone thinking about their own ironman in one of the Steam reviews of VS1 (I was thinking about writing a review of it myself at the time, but I keep putting it off...)

 

7 hours ago, Spara said:


Arguably, VS1 might be tougher just because Ch17 can softlock you if you lose the wrong units beforehand.

I have heard that Ch 19 also has some softlock potential, if whoever you send after the two switches can't handle it.

 

Spoiler

AM-JKLX0qzjCrcWZcyy3hQXknm8wjNiis1TJ--wa

I guess we can call chapter 2 a bit of a respite. Honestly none of these have been that hard so far. I remember this one being a bit trickier (although we haven't hit our first siege map yet...).

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Venecia has really ignored this problem for a year...Zade couldn't have come soon enough.

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I do find it rather charming how they have the Meledans identifying with the Venecian suffering under the bandits rule.

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Once again we are given the two big objectives of this map (although we wont get to either this update), but it is odd that they frame it like its a choice, when events are going to limit our options to one. I guess I have been getting a little too meta with this early story stuff. This is the map where we finish off the Gallacian bandits, first by retaking Thebes, and then by desroying their main base. But I wont be getting as far of either of those in this update, as my plan for this update is to clear out the central section of the map.

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Hehehe, well that is advice I wont be following for this update, although I suppose for the sections of the map after this update that is good advice.

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Also of note Haldyn is out for another map...

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and we have lost our healer to the story...again.

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Thankfully we get our first healer back, and don't even have to suffer through part of the map without one, like chapter one. Although that does give us a little more prep work, to get all the staffs that moved from Alysia's inventory, into the stockpile, and onto Athol. Now onto the map, and my first order of business is to

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Get Merida a magic sword. Also hit up the house right next to the shop for

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Some useful advise on this map. It is difficult to tell, but that group of troops across the river, next to all the yurts have a green ring indicating that they are green units, although they can become hostile if you enter their territory. It also gives me a 1-2 range axe, but I kind forget about that until latter in the map ,which was a bit of a mistake (but not a big one). Although it is time to talk about some of the big threats of this map (for this update at least).

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First off we have this game's equivalent to a ballistae on this little plateau. The only way to get onto that plateau, to kill him, is to either unlock the door (and we have no means to do that...yet), or use our Lucca friend's ability to climb those crags. There are a fair number of other defenders up there as well, mounted archers being the most prominent, but the thieves are the only ones with the movement type to leave that plateau.

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The thief on the forest can be kinda scary as well. He drops the Jeweled Knife he has equipped (if you can kill him without him breaking it), but its that deadly edge that makes him notable, as if it hits, it drops the targets HP to 1, which makes them very vulnerable to death.

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And the map is still preparing for our approach, as three bosses arrive to defend Thebes (although I don't get an image of Wallace here). Although Willis looks a lot like that Morgan fellow from last map, so they can't be all that dangerous.

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Then the game's Gharnef shows up to demean himself by helping these bandits.

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As he is going to sit in this choke point, making it impossible to deal with the bandit's base until we have taken Thebes. I know, he is far more handsome than the usual mastermind culty boy, but

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he has endgame ready capped stats, super powered skills, and an item that gives him an invincibility skill, in case you have impossibly good luck.

Back to parts of the map I can deal with, I have a plan to deal with the forest thief

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I am going to try and lure him in with my unit with the highest evade (in case he doesn't swap weapons), and leave her in range of ONLY that thief, so if he does drop her to 1 HP nothing can capitalize on that to kill her.

AM-JKLWh5QylJHSgXkP2Hfkbcyg3uHStW6G13IFP

Dune is drawing in an attack from a 1-2 range axe, as he can only take one hit from it (in retrospect with Prody's buff he could just barely take two, but I wouldn't start doing that until a bit latter into the map). As you can kinda see, Troy and Zade will be going north around the plateau, while the rest of our army stay here. I held Troy back a little to keep Zade close by to help out, but in retrospect, I don't think I should have, as 

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A lone mage is about to arrive on the other side of this whole plateau.

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and I know from experience, he needs a fair bit of luck to handle those bandits on his own, hence Troy and Zade coming to save him.

AM-JKLXsDwnpxStdpKksB7XjlemajsmeVIeEJvjY

Although this healing ring helps him along enough that he can get some work done, so I put him into range of one of the axes heading straight at him. Troy and Zade are going at full speed now; it seems like the Deadly Edge thief doesn't move (at least if nothing else is in range, he might have some linked AI, and I am not willing to test that on an ironman); and Dune dodged so he didn't need healing (and I still hadn't keyed into Prody's skill making the difference), so not much action until enemy phase.

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Where Troy levels on a dodge (and a solid level-up too), and then we get another recruit arriving on the other side of the map.

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With Cezar the thief breaking out of jail

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And Sheela doing her best to make sure Cezar frees her as well. Honestly, I like her gumption.

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And Cezar promises to come back and save her.

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And he spawns here, in the middle of a bunch of enemies he has to run away from. These will be the only recruits of this update, so I think it is time to talk about them a little.

Spoiler

Theodel is your first mage, and mages are fairly good in Vestaria Saga. He can wield Spirit Magic, which are effective against various enemy types, for example his starting tome is effective against Cavalry, and I can buy a tome effective against Infantry. He can also wield Divine magic, all of which Halves incoming damage, and in fact he has a personal Divine Tome available to him latter in the game. Theodel also has a mutual support bonus with Zade, which is useful to have around. Skill wise he has Aegis, which gives him a MAG% chance of ignoring an attack, and the Critical edge skill, but otherwise nothing new available.

Cezar is a thief, and is a lot like the enemy thieves, generally high avoid, wields defense ignoring daggers, although with a strength cap of 3 (even promoted) he never deals much damage. He also is our first unit with the Lock Pick skill (which opens chests, doors, and bridges), which is often why he gets deployed. He also has the hidden bonus as well, if you have low enough money, Cezar will give Athol a "Cezar's Lucre" item once a map when they end turn next to each other, which can be sold for 1000D. He also has the Lurk skill, which gives him a +50% bonus on terrain (so a +20 avoid from a forest becomes +30 avoid), which increases his avoid, and if he promotes he gets the Haggle skill, which gives you a 25% discount when you buy things (this is undermined a bit by a flying unit that gets a skill for 33% discount on shops at base...). I will also note that he starts with a Main Gauche, which is a dagger that gives him +20 avoid when equipped. Also Cezar is a crag climber.

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Now Cezar ran as fast as he could away from enemies, Troy and Zade ran as fast as they could towards them, and while Theodel got hit enemy phase, he has enough health to take the hits from the other axemen after he finishes one off on player phase (and gains the benefits of a forest while doing so). On the other front, I have finally cued into Prody being critical to Dune having the health to attack on player phase, and I kill the 1-2 range Axe with him, and also make sure both the units in range of the Bows have 2 range equipped (and in Dune's case is healed up).

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This is a small detail I haven't highlighted til now. The boss that teleported with Valerius has been slowly walking back to his main base, and finally arrived.

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This was kinda a mistake, as I should have targeted the other Axe wielder here, as he deals one more damage. This matters, because that one deals exactly half of Theodel's health, meaning Theodel is at risk of dying if he misses this guy on player phase (and thanks to the forest the axe-thrower also reached Theodel doesn't have a 100% hit rate). Now some 1-2 range daggers approached Troy, and Zade on enemy phase and are kinda blocking them off

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and fortunately Troy got the kill here, so he could continue on easily enough (without taking the move penalty from passing through the forest).

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And that is when I noticed that one of those horse archers was much more dangerous as the other, as it has a two-hit brave effect bow on him. Fun fact without Prody's bonus this deals exactly enough to kill Dune. Fortunately it was the other horse archer that attacked first (and I did give Dune the Prody boost at that point) so I moved Dune away for now, and moved Ash in to finish the other one off in melee (and moved Prody in to trade-switch so both have 1-2 range weapons equipped). Also the Prody boost is extra nice here as he will have to also take an axe hit, on top of the brave hits...

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I did also bite the bullet, and digged out the Edelstern to kill the thief

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and the silly little thief reminds me about the incredibly suspicious spot in the woods that I need to search

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Twice. Admittedly it is a little bit of a trap, but we will get to that a bit latter.

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Unfortunately this is a bit necessary given the damage these Axes deal to Theodel. Honestly this is a bit of delicate dance to make sure he can survive the guys coming in (without chancing a dodge). Unfortunately the Brigand instead sat there and healed with an herb.

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Some good news is that Ash got an alright level from surviving his enemy phase.

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And Zade got an enemy phase thief kill with the Edelstern as well. And this is the turn where I really regret holing Troy back before

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as he is one space away from killing the guy that healed, so I get a little creative with Cezar climbing up the crag to grab this Octo-herb, and escape enemy pursuit (for now), while moving Theodel in a way that ensures he can survive enemy phase. Back on the other front

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Dune finally gotten a good level up by killing the axe that attacked Ash. Speaking of which Ash had to run and get healed

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although as it turns out unnecessary as the Repeater Bow wielder took enough damage to want to take an herb

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and the one that herbed before finishes off the heal. Also as an unintended side effect of having Cezar grabbing the Octo-herb the axe bandit on the plateau starts heading in his direction.

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This is kinda wasteful, but his healing habits annoyed me.

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and it earned Zade a level-up.

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Also Troy continues to luck out on these thief kills (to be fair, triggering Multichance with a brave effect weapon helps). Although this doesn't really help out Theodel much yet, as

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I want to protect this village, and not visit it with him yet. Fun fact, if he misses the thief, and all enemy attacks hit he will survive with 1 HP. Cezar I start sending south, and I try to bait the horse archer closer by giving him the opportunity to get a free hit, but

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He just sits there and heals to full...

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Meanwhile Theodel enemy phases both of the enemies chasing him, and gets a level for his trouble. While low on health, Troy and Zade should be able to save him next turn. Heck, after killing the last axeman in the area

AM-JKLUORHd9FbSMwSM3F97-ofvuUqPNJbCZB5U2

Theodel can even spend his time talking to his friend Zade. Note that with the healing ring, he heals more than these thieves can deal each turn. I must admit, having been friends with a Theo in highschool endears me to him a bit, so I am glad he survived this mess.

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Seems Theo also had a close call with death, but was saved by

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a charming little trans girl. Sorry, I guess that is a spoiler, but it was so surprising to see late into the game that it really stuck with me.

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On the other front I am just having my troops climb the crag, and I guess healing kinda broke this things AI, because

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he just sat there, and let the axemen claim his head.

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I also finally visit that village, with more snide comments about their governments inaction.

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And we get a delayed reward.

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Now I could drop the bridge right now with Cezar, but I will wait til Troy, and Zade are in position to jump the enemies across the bridge.

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We are getting close to the end of this update. The Lucca climbers overwhelmed that last Axe Bandit, and are inches away from killing the Arbalist. Also one of the Axey-boys had the time to hit the shop and buy some Cutlasses for the future. Speaking of which, lets kill that Arbalest

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and they both missed...

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...strike two...

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Fortunately third time is the charm, as Dune gets the kill

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Its not for a lack of trying, as you did hit Dune on the way in.

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I also have the time for Zade, and Cezar to talk before the end of this, and Cezar is trying to fulfill his promise to Sheela, by getting Zade to rescue her.

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And Cezar even agrees to join our little army although he does correct himself latter that he is in it for the money.

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One turn more, and the last of these troops in the center will be gone, and that was my objective for this update.

Lets start with a controversial move, as I have

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Athol learn about Lockpicking the action after I use the skill. Really this is just to get for the tiny buff she gives to Zade, as

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Even with the Edelstern, he can't guarantee the kill, and I am trying to maximize the chance of getting that Jeweled Knife.

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Fortunately Zade nabs the kill (and thus the Jeweled Knife).

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Unfortunately Troy is one damage shy of getting the kill, unless he triggers Multich-

...huh, he did, but also missed one of the 90s, so instead

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Merida levels on the kill. Unfortunately its not a great level...

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Well, I have two more turns before the save turn, so I just barely have the time

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To search that secret section of the forest for

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an excellent stat booster...actually, I am not sure who to give it to at this point. Any suggestions?

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And it is two of these Deadly Edge thieves, but the thing is...those can't kill you on their own, as they set your HP to 1.

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I figured I would also unlock this door, in case I want to buy anything more from the Cutlass shop latter.

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Also chipped one of them down

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Which results in a rather unlikely enemy phase kill (and level) on Jean...Not bad.

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Bonacel was not as lucky, but that is where I will leave things off for the day, as

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I have hit the save turn, and

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the only thing still alive here has broken his only weapon. Next time we will retake Thebes, and do some stuff with the Yappa, possibly even get further.

 

 There were some close call, but we are still in this thing. Have fun and take care everyone.

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44 minutes ago, Eltosian Kadath said:

I am going to try and lure him in with my unit with the highest evade (in case he doesn't swap weapons), and leave her in range of ONLY that thief, so if he does drop her to 1 HP nothing can capitalize on that to kill her.

The thief will just stay in the forest until attacked.
After he is attacked, he will try to escape to the North, at which point he loses the avoid boost from the forest.
So the play is to attack him indirectly and have someone block him from reaching the cliffs, so that Zade can destroy him reliably with the Edelstern.
 

48 minutes ago, Eltosian Kadath said:

AM-JKLUhzLqlvxxXQoqEUs1fKZv2OFviheMTI7lK

Now Cezar ran as fast as he could away from enemies, Troy and Zade ran as fast as they could towards them, and while Theodel got hit enemy phase, he has enough health to take the hits from the other axemen after he finishes one off on player phase (and gains the benefits of a forest while doing so). On the other front, I have finally cued into Prody being critical to Dune having the health to attack on player phase, and I kill the 1-2 range Axe with him, and also make sure both the units in range of the Bows have 2 range equipped (and in Dune's case is healed up).

Oof, using his maximum movement is not a great idea here. He could get boxed in on the bridge. Good thing that didn't happen.

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2 hours ago, BrightBow said:

The thief will just stay in the forest until attacked.
After he is attacked, he will try to escape to the North, at which point he loses the avoid boost from the forest.
So the play is to attack him indirectly and have someone block him from reaching the cliffs, so that Zade can destroy him reliably with the Edelstern.

Huh, that is useful advice. From what I remember last time I also just used Zade to Edelstern him on the woods same as this time...

 

2 hours ago, BrightBow said:

Oof, using his maximum movement is not a great idea here. He could get boxed in on the bridge. Good thing that didn't happen.

As long as Theodel is near enough to help out, I don't think that would be the biggest deal, as Theodel and Cezar combined might can kill on of them in a turn, and most of those guys have 1-2 range weapons, so they will avoid melee with Cezar (when possible) which makes it harder for them to block Cezar in for more than a turn or two. Plus this isn't the first time I had Theodel sit on that forest with Cezar doing his full move, so I had a hunch they would attack Theo instead just like last time.

 

Spoiler

When last we left off our army is marching on Thebes, and on this update I start

AM-JKLWsFHJsIv3Fn9xrFZCB-NqgwxSEiGMzs_gW

by immediately triggering enemy reinforcements when I mindlessly put Troy on a bridge.

AM-JKLWRTj_-GqjpXWugIGlyNa5noLAeVT7zcgQ2

Yeah, I am ignoring the unarmed thief for now, as my Troy move means I don't have the time to deal with him now. I will probably get around to killing him for the exp, closer to the end of the map...

AM-JKLWa8FcPilPWGg5pNpqhwKSW_Nf8RL_WS85G

Looks like its just non-ambush spawns coming in from the two caves there, but it is still annoying to deal with...

AM-JKLUlhez4JpOWTWtHhqHqp32dTqhvzYRsF4xd

I also end up using a Tisane to heal Bonacel up faster (as the amount Athol healed was less than half his lost health).

AM-JKLXedJj8j1iIQMdLp34hl3DrVSA4oAs3FVTP

Troy should be able to enemy phase one of these fools coming in, while the rest of my army is making their way over there, although he does take a hit while doing so

AM-JKLVFALTv2-tIwbJ-Ccg_yd64FiI_IfgqXbWT

Merida can kill this bandit, but I will let this play out on enemy phase, just in case she misses one of her hits, and the bandit doesn't...

AM-JKLUQGLJoxthxjTMkNf_tryzX0FGS5sVGKMkg

Meanwhile Troy chugs an herb, so he can take a hit next turn if he has to. Now the astute among you might have noticed that Cezar hasn't been around this update, as he had his own little objective to accomplish

AM-JKLVc9swnaX26e49y_ztwMf0WrJKQplLv66rX

Telling the Yappa chief that we are going to save Sheela.

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Which earns us a new recruit

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The gladiator Zayid, whom happens to be our first

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Prepromoted unit. I didn't use him much on my last run, but I suspect I will on this run, as his stats are fairly solid.

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It will take a bit for all of my disperate units to reach the final threat at Thebes.

AM-JKLWVDvba83UJoJeA8DUxq7SV3yEaVmeslMj2

Those axe bandits have never heard of a miss, so Merida has to go heal, and let

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Troy level on the kill. Also I am sick of these high attack axes that never seem to miss, so he cantos onto the spawn point.

AM-JKLVL8UM3sSfmYLOrfxA0RuRf7Sh-NRxhW3ZJ

Also I finally remember to trade that 1-2 axe Zade got last update onto someone that can actually use it.

I have put this off long enough, its time to look at the kinda scary bosses

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First we have one with another of those 1-3 range axes, while the other two

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have identical stats, a 1-2 range axe, and are getting +25 evade from the hills they are sitting on. Although what makes these three scary is that they all have bonds with eachother that give them +7 Accuracy, Avoid, and Crit. While all of them are alive, they all have 14 crit, and even after one dies they still have 7 crit...that is going to make things kinda scary.

AM-JKLX026BkgRo2-SzupPvq-_uOcQdteI1WBXE_

The bandits spawning from the north are finally close enough to attack us, although Merida is the only one in range for now

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And she levels on the enemy phase kill. It is hard to complain about a Strength level-up.

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I hate to say it, but I am going to wait a few turns for Bonacel and Prody to arrive. Just having Prody's boost as an option would make me feel more comfortable dealing with the trio with a crit rate. Also the northern reinforcements have stopped, so waiting for them to be cleared away is probably a good idea anyway (although I must admit, I didn't notice that reinforcements stopped until next turn)

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Athol leveled on the heal, and I am noticing that she is running out of heals

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So I have Cezar buy a new one, and buy one of the Iffyre tomes for Theodel while I am here (as I forgot to before). I am very tempted to grab a second Wargoddess Sword, but I put it off for now.

Back in the action, I overwhelm the former reinforcements with my troops

AM-JKLXNanVy2zkjaTUXy__FbqEuSdvrZ7zAVNm3

and make the uncomfortable move of getting off of that reinforcement spawn point, as I might want Theodel's help in the big boss attack next turn.

Speaking of which, I open with the overly safe

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Bonacel miss. Part of the reason I started with this move is to make room for Athol to both heal Troy, and be in range for where Zade will make his attack, and for similar reasons

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The next attack is from a bond partner with Zade, our good friend Theodel.

AM-JKLX-tJ--mzM-oKWP9kTONgpY_JEGR36PuDOd

Admittedly this is committing me to killing Wes, or risking a crit death on Theo...alright after I move Athol, and get Prody in position to protect Zade, its time to have

AM-JKLW2rLHLOyYcwKYA8fHE8ZIDyBfttE-xxyJH

Zade kill Willis with the Edelstern. Willis only hit, and didn't crit, so Zade should live next turn no matter what.

AM-JKLWczsqvR3NorpkwK1i08B6BYpWiT0yuJ93T

Next lets deal with Wes to ensure Theo's survival as well. Those hit rates aren't great, but I can also quad with Merida's Dandelion

AM-JKLV8ooqhnWdvmHrBrdUtrPUzckenbL71QQQM

Although that proved unnecessary, so she can instead

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Try for the kill on now critless Wallace

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Poor guy didn't even notice his friend die before his very eyes.

AM-JKLUUrFcAnNBEd-hnhSvZt38Bvbz1-CfBJjt-

That went rather smoothly, no crits, all three of them killed, heck the Lucca boys weren't even need for it all. I will seize soon enough, and I don't quite remember around the mountain base start acting after the seize, or after touching the choke-point (like the troops around Thebes did), and I still have the time for a little more action in this update, so I might as well prepare you all for what we will be doing if they are passive.

AM-JKLXfyllmMoexk09Jlz8RBgH18qedGTB0eMPo

The scam artist event

AM-JKLWNgfQth_C4GLKXKVARDN1a-30-09caNVBw

Sneaky little dastard is trying to bait us into antagonizing the Yappa tribe, although I waited for them to return home before starting this mess off.

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Such a strange thing to be killed over, let alone be someone's most prized possession.

AM-JKLXR03AjqKwGGVB58UB0Hwh1FQ2HqMUBjlyj

This guys story is kinda sketchy, but 2000 Denaris is a nice sum, and triggering this event is vital to getting a personal weapon for one of my units, although it is a little finicky. 

AM-JKLU0pRkSwl4xZzsZEpqcoFqxag8WY02MvHKe

Admittedly this is where the lie kinda falls apart. How would he know where they "hid" it? If it is worth more than "life itself", why hasn't he risked his own life for it? Plus offering 2000 for it already kinda cheapens the sentiment.

AM-JKLXGdEtlG7nBj1fisBuW7RoW1zWNwf-H1IwT

On the other side of the map, I am moving Troy close enough too check that norther cave the reinforcements came from, as the village promised me a stat booster from one of these caves, and I am still uncertain which events will trigger when I seize, so I decide to wait a turn for people to get closer to the action (and hopefully ensure anything that moves heads in the direction of my army, instead of the lone thief).

AM-JKLXnnYI4p8pRlzdGPRuE-EWJ66LbPh0WgmkU

But I only let my paranoia stay my hand for one turn. Also Troy didn't find anything, so it must be the cave near the center instead.

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Seems Cezar has helped to free Sheela, even if he isn't here to save her personally.

AM-JKLXyi2hqlhWQIIA_H2ik4EsCUDRsoWdQvWnn

And like any good Fire Emblem game, the named prisoner lets us recruit her. Although the stockpile comment seems a little deceptive as there is an event that will get her a free bow soon.

AM-JKLXUoFNF741XqDwaq0YNgGbglHXiybfOINeX

Now for the event that gets Valerius out of the picture, where Haldyn confronts him

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Over the abduction of his sister Ravinia

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and her subsequent magical enslavement. Fun fact, we do actually see Ravinia latter in the game, and Haldyn does have the option for a talk conversation with her, although I don't know if I can pull that off again in an ironman. We will see I guess.

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Then the two of them have an embarrassing little fight as

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Valerius is way out of Haldyn's league combatwise.

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Again the edgelord gets saved from a fatal combat as

AM-JKLXpACKNdeCa6Ea5fv3DxjQ0C1Izedgp_YNMAM-JKLUrueroDEEb--tQt1Gcoxa9GJTI3sZxXHdM

Valerius has figured out who Alysia is, and decides to kidnap her instead of finishing off our sad-sack of an edgelord.

AM-JKLWlznjMmyNnc-EXXFmUYMi9eKaKLnWcDZl_

Although I will have to keep an eye out for this mysterious Philip, as I don't remember there being one in this game, but I might have missed him (or he might be in Vestaria Saga 2).

AM-JKLV46cga6FhJo4cRjNMEfkJyVaxkVlExQXWE

Seems that turn of caution was for naught, as the only mobile threats are a repeat of the reinforcements on this side of the river, and Zade and Troy enemy phase one a piece while leaving, but I will save the rest for Sheela.

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As after a charming little conversation between her and her protector

AM-JKLWQY_RKUZWtWDOuysLxkkQqqe9nBZ2qPnPLSh

Sheela gets a rather nice free bow. The two are kinda cute together, and they give off a surprisingly platonic vibe to them.

AM-JKLUjDaF2dRQ-ewgba3eiTO2Vq2sJsZdvV9bs

Cezar also gets a brand new healinng staff to Athol just in time (and she Thracia trades the Iffyre to Theo while I am at it). In the interest of keep things from being bogged down too much, I will skip to the next notable little operation. Operation get Sheela a level, which starts after a few turns of walking with

AM-JKLW3biMsI7rHYAUu7bUxyz6f3iOXUs320gSY

Prody chipping for

AM-JKLXh7bq20zIRwsmumXFCjNW-N5ORSKgwGk3W

Sheela to finish. This is basically repeated for the other two up there, although of particular note is

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Prody getting an enemy phase miss on the last of them, that gives him a point of defense that makes it safe to try again on player phase.

AM-JKLWNay7PJgFTeAsrrWIkZKH12RYZwIYEVLKe

And Sheela getting a rather mediocre level for all that effort.

The last group of enemies seem content to wait on my pace, so I think I will end this update off instead with

AM-JKLV3KDk3ehBBJx4ZFb3AdSjqr5HNK9pTtnHI

That swindler event I mentioned before.

AM-JKLVb4Wti3vSBFRng2zhhjtJlLFJsdL2aMXDh

Its kinda interesting that it gives us a choice, but I am guessing it might be in part thanks to a feature of this little statue that makes the final part of this event difficult to pull off; that the statue can't be traded.

AM-JKLVzQt1txNmb4VBWMMx9PDIedMP9nCgZOl8a

If it isn't apparant already, I am skipping over a lot of walking for all you views, and I even intentionally delayed a turn here to get everyone in place for the final part of this mess

AM-JKLU3V4anuuvhGGYepkBT9-Tl8rKlj8ttK7am

The scamartist must think his wordplay is so clever...now DIE

AM-JKLWyeh7N2TRgSrzDSzwQjNW7rSY-nuLrdgkd

Actually, I forgot that there was this little delay like this...

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Before he reveals himself for what he is, and becomes an enemy we can kill.

AM-JKLV2elkSpoxaYBthDrYxUrc5nNmOMmmt2hTf

That will let us return the statue we stole to its actual owner for a fabulous prize, but there is a bit of a catch. The prize if Zayid, or Sheela returns it are excellent personal weapons, but if anyone else returns it, it is a far more boring Fire Axe. Now the statue can't be traded, so if I want one of those personal weapons, I am going to have to get the kill with either Sheela, or Zayid. I know Zayid is probably better for this run, but I can't help myself, I want to try for Sheela's personal weapon. That being said, if Sheela misses her chance, I will try for Zayid's weapon instead, and the Fire Axe is certainly better than nothing...

AM-JKLW4YLJgOTmKVLxGLM62FD9_yw6GJv53S9Oy

I guess this is a start. Unfortunately the Edelstern has a chance to kill, so I don't try to chip with it, although those hit rates are awful...

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Darn right I a-

AM-JKLVWZZFXCFt4RvKW6Ni8t_xBpe8vSfLzNzUF

Well that complicates things a bit. This dagger of his has an HP healing nosferatu like effect on it...ugh...I guess I better focus on range attacks, so he doesn't just heal it all back.

AM-JKLWSdVgXG8CdSICXLg1omW1G09S-k3UtEmid

All of the bows missed, but I think

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I can bait him out of that terrain that is giving him an effective +30 avoid.

AM-JKLVsjyLDDlGGIHpDcxultFeq7FK6HGF0QvX7

Now if I can just

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Hit him...

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sigh...I am really getting desperate here...

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A HIT AND A DODGE! Is my luck finally turning around?

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ANOTHER HIT, now I just need one more...

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AM-JKLXk1Oxq36Cxgn73ylMvxo9rTsEoN_q59hF1

Now Sheela gets those riches instead.

AM-JKLVyA1DeBPvsAaMYALVhnYJP__XeLH52SFhw

And with a personal weapon that is a magic bow, I will gladly take a magic levelup on her. Funnily enough I missed out on her personal bow on my first run, despite training her for funsies, and I really wanted to try it out on this run. Unfortunately I have a bit of time before the next save turn

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the next turn is still a while away from the 5 counter, but not much interesting happens before that other than

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Another Athol levelup while healing some people up.

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A 25 turn update, my longest by turn count yet, but there was a lot of walking, and waiting in this one. Hopefully the next one will be a little more action packed !

Getting close to the end of Chapter 3, my plan is to finish it in the next update. Until then, stay safe, and take care everyone.

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3 hours ago, Eltosian Kadath said:

Yeah, I am ignoring the unarmed thief for now, as my Troy move means I don't have the time to deal with him now. I will probably get around to killing him for the exp, closer to the end of the map...

Thieves also tend to drop a good amount of cash when killed.
Sadly, unlike Berwick Saga you can't see if an enemy drops money before you kill them. Still, it's a nice feature.

This seems like a big update, so I probably should use spoiler tags as well to keep things more manageable.

Spoiler


3 hours ago, Eltosian Kadath said:

Prepromoted unit. I didn't use him much on my last run, but I suspect I will on this run, as his stats are fairly solid.

He's got so many options too. Axes, swords and Greatswords. Like, he is the only unit that can scale cliff and able to use both the Cutlass and the Hurlbat.

And being stuck with axes at this point in the game is just not great in general. You just got 1 Serrated Axe in map 2 and a bunch of Hurlbats. But decent swords are easy to come by

In all my runs of the game, one of the axe bros always fell behind. I imagine the lack of decent axes in the earlygame is the biggest factor in that.
 

3 hours ago, Eltosian Kadath said:

So I have Cezar buy a new one, and buy one of the Iffyre tomes for Theodel while I am here (as I forgot to before). I am very tempted to grab a second Wargoddess Sword, but I put it off for now.

That sweet second Wargoddess Sword. It always feels just out of reach.

Doesn't exactly help that this shop has some other rare items that might be worth buying in bulk. With everyone's stats still being rather shaky, the light and accurate Light Bows are a great investment.
On a similar note, Iffrye is the most accurate tome you can get for a while. And tomes have very low durability. And of course it's effective against all the infantry types you are fighting currently.
I don't think magic effective damage matters too much in practice. There is a lot of that whole "if an enemy dies in two hits anyway, does it really matter if one attack deals 50% or 90% damage?" thing going on. Still, right now Theo flatout can't double, so it's most certainly preferable that his one attack will leave a mark.
Would be great being able to preserve the Raecryst too. It's accurate and extremely strong, alongside useful effective damage against some of the game's toughest enemy types. And there won't be a replacement for a long time.
 

3 hours ago, Eltosian Kadath said:

And like any good Fire Emblem game, the named prisoner lets us recruit her. Although the stockpile comment seems a little deceptive as there is an event that will get her a free bow soon.

Love the contrast between Sheela's "are you actually serious right now?" portrait set and her more wide-eyed bubbly one that's used most of the time. I also love how the game waits a bit to use the latter, even though it's her default one.
 

4 hours ago, Eltosian Kadath said:

Then the two of them have an embarrassing little fight as

Classic Haldyn. It just gets funnier every time.
 

4 hours ago, Eltosian Kadath said:

That will let us return the statue we stole to its actual owner for a fabulous prize, but there is a bit of a catch. The prize if Zayid, or Sheela returns it are excellent personal weapons, but if anyone else returns it, it is a far more boring Fire Axe.

Funny thing is, the Fire Axe has good stats and effective damage against common enemies. But sadly, for magic weapons the magic stat is also used for weight reduction, so no one is gonna be able to double with that thing ever.
 

4 hours ago, Eltosian Kadath said:

AM-JKLXjqxv-ih_vvlU2dLpLaUhJY5LGjMzb1nOZ

I can bait him out of that terrain that is giving him an effective +30 avoid.

That's the play. Just don't let him reach a tile adjacent to...
 

4 hours ago, Eltosian Kadath said:

AM-JKLUpU64DPr77C3yPBp1g5vN5aF2Kb9ESoqtb

Yeah, that. Don't let him do that.
 

4 hours ago, Eltosian Kadath said:

AM-JKLXk1Oxq36Cxgn73ylMvxo9rTsEoN_q59hF1

Now Sheela gets those riches instead.

Oh well, it all worked out in the end.

 

 

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15 hours ago, BrightBow said:


Sadly, unlike Berwick Saga you can't see if an enemy drops money before you kill them. Still, it's a nice feature.

 

 

15 hours ago, BrightBow said:

He's got so many options too. Axes, swords and Greatswords

I used him so little, that you pointing it out is the first time I noticed he could use swords.

 

15 hours ago, BrightBow said:

 

In all my runs of the game, one of the axe bros always fell behind. I imagine the lack of decent axes in the earlygame is the biggest factor in that.

I guess the same thing happened on my last run, but mostly because I thought the Goliath class is funny, and it doesn't reset levels, which means Jean starts falling behind the units that level-up past promotion.

 

15 hours ago, BrightBow said:


I don't think magic effective damage matters too much in practice. There is a lot of that whole "if an enemy dies in two hits anyway, does it really matter if one attack deals 50% or 90% damage?" thing going on. Still, right now Theo flatout can't double, so it's most certainly preferable that his one attack will leave a mark.

It matters when only one hit lands, like when Theo can't double, or when you are dealing with shaky hit-rates.

 

16 hours ago, BrightBow said:

Love the contrast between Sheela's "are you actually serious right now?" portrait set and her more wide-eyed bubbly one that's used most of the time. I also love how the game waits a bit to use the latter, even though it's her default one.

Sheela has some great faces in this game, especially the really contempt filled face she starts using on Cezar latter in the game.

 

15 hours ago, BrightBow said:

But sadly, for magic weapons the magic stat is also used for weight reduction, so no one is gonna be able to double with that thing ever.

Now that is an interesting fact I never noticed

 

15 hours ago, BrightBow said:

Yeah, that. Don't let him do that.
 

Yeah, I got rather close to bungling it there, and the instant he moved there I kinda knew it.

 

Spoiler

Time to start this update with

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Returning the statue we stole from the Yapa

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And getting Sheela her personal magic bow. Which does remind me, I didn't have a serious talk about the two recruits we got last update, Sheela and Zayid

Spoiler

Zayid is a powerful prepromote. I must admit, I haven't used him much on my last run, but even into endgame he was good enough to accomplish something without much training when I did deploy. He can use axes, swords, and great swords, and if he were the one who got the statue back to the Yapa Chieftain he would have gotten a powerful personal Axe, which gives him extra resistance, and the Aegis II skill (so 20% chance of ignoring an attack). Skill wise he has the Critical Edge skill that most promoted units get, and the Wrath skill, which give a +25% crit when making a counter attack, so he tends to get a fair number of crits. Also I will note that both of them can climb crags.

Sheela starts out as a rather weak archer, although she has some nice skills, and just got access to a rather powerful personal weapon, that lets her use her rather existent magic stat to attack (and an extra 5 defense and luck for better survivability when it is equipped). She starts with the Lightfoot skill, so she gets an extra movement point, and when she reaches level 12 she gets the Flurry skill, which is basically Astra, gives a DEX% chance of turning an attack into 5 attacks, and on promotion gets that Critical Edge skill that comes up a fair bit. She tends to end up fast with higher Dex, which compensates for her meh attack, although getting her leveled up enough to get to that point without her personal weapon takes a bit of babying. Also that personal weapon of hers is the only way for her to use her magic stat in the early game, as the other magic bows are only really available very late into the game. Also Zayid and Sheela each have a bond with the other, which makes them better together.

Next, lets approach that boss and

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Zade discovers that Haldyn got his shit kicked in.

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And he lets them know that Sestra Alysia has been...rrrrrrrrrgh. Yeah he wont be joining us quite yet, as he got even more he needs to recover from.

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Yeah these hills and mountains are really clogging our army up, so it will be a little bit navigating this nightmare terrain

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And the enemy knows how awful it is, although thankfully

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Valerius is ready to leave these bandits to their doomed fate, instead of breaking our little army here single-handedly. Thanks Sestra Alysia for being such a valuable hostage to our enemy.

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Finally the boss of this chapter arrives. And then on enemy phase the Axe Bandit on the crag throws another of those 1-3 range axes at Za-

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...wait, was that a crit rate?

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...Oh those axe bandits with the 1-3 Axes are all promoted units, with a small crit rate. Zade would have lived even if the hit did crit, but that is an uncomfortable thing to notice only after it attacks. That complicates things a fair bit.

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Also the boss's arrival triggered reinforcements from all the caves, including the ones back by Thebes

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So I send the cavs over to deal with that, and get Zade out of range to chew an herb.

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Sigh...it is going to take a while to get some crag climbers over there to deal with them, especially when I probably want Prody nearby for his buff.

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getting Prody through that chokepoint is torture, and there is just not enough room to put more people in there without risking some crit death at the moment...

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Although Merida is getting a rather solid level-up from dealing with the reinforcements on enemy phase. She is looking a little strength bless already, which is an interesting twist on the Merida I remember.

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That gives us a little more breathing room. I might end up doing that with the other one too, but I kinda want to try giving that promoted kill to someone else.

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Theo also ends up killing one of the bandits with his Iffyre as well, but things are still really congested in this path (and really isn't helped by wanting Prody for that other kill).

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And he does something similar on the next turn for a Magic level-up, which is fine for him. I also try to get Cezar a thief kill (after Zayid sent it to 1 HP with his Hatchet), but the funny kill is thwarted by a dodge.

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Also of note, Sheela is going to go kill the unequiped thief I have been ignoring, and the Cavs are doing just fine on their extermination of the Thebes reinforcements. That crippled thief ends up dying on the turn after, and then there is a bit of slow shuffling as I make room to get my troops through that gap in the mountains

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And Troy ends up getting a rather mediocre level killing the last of the axe reinforcements by Thebes

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While Merida gets a great one from killing the last of the thieves that pass just north of Thebes, and then I make a bit of a bo-bo while shuffling troops around on the other front.

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Yeah, it wasn't until after I moved Cezar here, that I noticed he is in the other Francisca range, and he could have died from it. Being in range of the other enemy was intentional, as he lives the hit, and Zade is out of weaker swords to use, so I was hoping that other enemy would attack Cezar instead...

Fortunately I wasn't punished for this mistake, but Zade ends up wasting some Edelstern on the generic as well.

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Finally we find the cave we were told to search two updates ago, an get

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Another stat booster I will probably use on Zade. Also of note I have finally positioned my other axe units, and Prody in a way

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That lets me deal with the other Francisca Berserker without risking some crit death (although I don't risk attacking on player phase with this plan). Having taken a hit dealing this damage, I move him a little to lure in some other enemies, and heal him with Athol

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for another Athol Level-up. A fairly similar thing happens to Ash on the next turn, so I have them basically switch places, although instead of drawing enemies in

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He levels on a kill instead. There was another mobile axe bandit as well, but as it comes in (and lets Ash chip it)

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Dune manages to get another disappointing level from that kill on the next turn.

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Sheela also manages to finally successfully hit that thief I left behind enough to get the kill (and level), for a rather nice strength level-up.

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That last Berserker is finally damaged enough that I could go for the kill, but again, thanks to that crit rate it is much safer to wait until enemy pha-

AM-JKLX-jeZc1l_-H_7NX3ASIa-T4dceWBS0pBz9

That son of a monkey's uncle just used an herb...OK, mistake learned, I should have gone for the kill, but I think I can fix that issue now

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First I move Zade around to ensure his +10 hit is going to be on anyone that can attack him (and use the stat booster while I am at it), and then

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Start attacking him

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And I could get the kill right no-

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hmmm.... I could go for the kill with Dune, but there is a chance he could die

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if he misses a 97, and the enemy gets a 3% crit...That is significantly less than a 1/1000 odds of death, so I think I will risk it.

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And he gets the kill. Now there are two major objectives left, killing the boss (but not too quickly, or else I miss a key weapon drop), and clearing enough of the statues to get at that chest in the north. Well I guess three once I add a last minute shopping trip to the list. Now I am waiting for Merida to arrive to start working on clearing a path to the chest, but

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Chipping the boss starts out rather easy, as he has a 1 range only weapon

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Although attacking him triggered some passive healing effect...well after a few rounds of ranged chipping

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Dune gets a nice little strength level-up, although I am starting to think about a different way of chipping him down here, as I have been holding back a little, for two reasons. First, I don't want to risk accidentally killing him early (with a Zayid crit for instance), as that would make me miss out on the weapon he drops, which makes dealing with one particularly difficult to deal with event latter in the game. Second, and this is mostly about Theo, as at a certain HP threshold there is an event which gives him a 1-2 range weapon that is effective against mages (and which he drops), which has scared me away from using Theo or risk a surprise effective hit on the enemy phase that triggers it (and I don't remember exactly what that HP threshold is). 

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Merida is close enough that I can start dealing with the things defending that chest, and Troy gets the opportunity to trade Zade a fresher sword (and grab the remaining sellables from the Stockpile, as he is going to go shopping).

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Now the sentinel's defending the chest have a weapon that lets it heal when it hits, so

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Instead of making this attack on player phase, I will wait til enemy phase that way it has no damage to heal if it hits. You also might notice that

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I am having Bonacel's high defense (after the net +6 from the Phalanx Lance and Prody's Good Neighbor bonus) to get through his HP. Back on player phase

AM-JKLXFyVwRxplUbfoGrADwahtcerVMgUjm6WNi

Theodel uses his stronger magic to let Merida ge-

Oh, or he could crit and kill it himself. I guess that works to. So I guess that means I can

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Have Merida heal with an herb, so Athol can heal Bonacel instead, and come enemy phase

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Bonacel drops Tyron down to the point where he switches weapon

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I do like how the game acknowledges the smart way of dealing with him, even if I went a different route to deal with him.

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So he switched to a 1-2 range weapon, and gets fully healed. Also triggering this on enemy phase means he can't surprise me with it when he attacks

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Although the weapon is much weaker (and can't even damage Bonacel now). Bonacel unfortunately misses

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And while I could go for this on player phase, I don't want to risk a game over (even if it is below the 1/1000 level)

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Instead I wait it out.

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I also prepare Merida for the same maneuver to deal with the Sentinel as before.

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Probably should have seen this coming, but its not a big deal...(although it did break his Pilum). Next turn

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Bonacel gets his hit this time, and with a solid chance to kill

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Zade does.

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Zade is turning out rather well.with some more AGL and DEF on that level-up. Now back with the Sentinel

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and this time Theo doesn't crit so

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Merida pulls off the kill I was expecting last turn.

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For a rather disappointing level.

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Now that last Sentinel can't kill Cezar, so he can

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get the 5x brave effect dagger weapon. Now it has 0 might, and thanks to the thief lines comically low strength cap, that doesn't actually result in much damage, despite it commonly causing 10 hit attacks, but it does give Cezar a combat option that isn't embarrassingly weak.

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Speaking of which, he takes a nasty hit and deals trivial damage back (although given this things defense, that is solid damage for a physical weapon). Now I have a bit of time to kill while Troy goes on a shopping spree, so

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I decide to kill the last Sentinel

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and I regret not having Sheela up here to deal with them earlier, as she is excellent at it.

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And even gets a level from it, although not a particularly remarkable one. I end up buying a fair bit (two of the light bows, another Iffyre, a second Wargoddess sword, an extra of each axe, and all the cutlass I could then afford after that) and try to trigger the Cezar's Lucre for this map, but alas, it doesn't work. Oh well it is time to

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Finish this map.

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Despite all this talk, there is one last bandit map before our dramatic return to Venecia.

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And while discussing Alysia's capture, we learn about just how convincing this game's prettier Gharnef is...

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Alas, this save the Sestra obligation gets put off until Vestaria Saga 2.

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Poor guy got beaten badly enough to die twice over (so far).

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Don't kid yourself Haldyn, I have seen Valerius's stats, you definitely should have been taken out that easily.

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Now Haldyn starts giving out an interesting information dump about the empire, like that Valerius is part of a racial group that is severly discriminated against

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That those people originally submitted to, although there is a fair bit of funkiness regarding the Udagal, as the game will treat them as kinda special.

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For instance, the Shadow King Margul was an Udagal, as were the heroes who defeated him.

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Haldyn also talks about his sister, and this younger Valerius was either much weaker back then, or Haldyn is a bit of a liar.

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Also Dune is particularly hot and bothered about the missing Sestra Alysia.

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Finally we start getting the setup for chapter 4, that there are still bandits hiding out in the cave systems.

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And we get distracted by catching Cezar trying to loot the place already.

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The number of references here is staggering, from the Tomb Raider, to the FF6 Locke's insistence on "treasure hunter", even the last bit seems reminiscent of Indiana Jone's "it belongs in a museum" mentality.

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I kinda thought we had this talk already...as a talk...in chapter 3...oh well, we get another free repair stones (sorry Siurian Thaumite is the technical terms) from it, so I can't complain too much.

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Apparently Cezar managed to negotiate the right to loot parts of Meleda in exchange for his help...Zade isn't the best at bargaining is he. Well after this we get a Cezar joined message, and I am guessing this is why I couldn't get any Cezar's Lucre from chapter 3.

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Alright next time, we exterminate the last of the bandits from the caves system behind it

Next chapter we begin a little filler map before the dramatic conclusion of the Venecia arc. See you then, and in the meantime, have fun, and take care everyone.

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8 hours ago, Eltosian Kadath said:

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Dune manages to get another disappointing level from that kill on the next turn.

Dex gains are good. Especially as long as it's below 10, since there are a whole bunch of weapons with 70 hit.

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On 7/15/2022 at 8:50 AM, BrightBow said:

Dex gains are good. Especially as long as it's below 10, since there are a whole bunch of weapons with 70 hit.

I was going to argue with you here, but in the context of an ironman, you are right. Dex leads to a small increase in expected damage, but in an irronman, you often need to play around the miss, and not having to deal with that is a far more significant improvement.

 

Sorry for getting this one out so late, the internet was out most of the weekend, and delayed this update a fair bit...

Spoiler

Oddly enough, I think I am going to do this whole little jaunt in a single update. It is a short little chapter, and a bit of a tutorial one.

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This is the first chapter where you have to really limit the number of troops you bring, and the game makes sure you know it going in.

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And when characters have notable interactions on the map, the game will hint to you that it might be a good idea to bring them

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And might even give you an idea why it is a good idea to do so. Admittedly the Sheela example is a little deceptive, as you could basically replace her with Zayid for this map, but you are already incentivized to bring the two of them together thanks to their bond anyway.

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Also, Valerius apparently held back a lot against this embarrassment, as this is the first chapter I could bring him along, but I didn't, so I think I will wait until next update (when I probably will bring him) to talk much about him.

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As for who to bring, I brought the cavs to hunt down those who might run, Sheela and Zayid for an event on the map, Cezar for thief utility, Dune and Theodel so I can deal with that drake in the corner, and of course Athol for healing. Bring some axeboys wouldn't have been the worst idea either, but Zayid should be able to handle the map feature that requires an axe. I am going to try and get as much of the treasure on this map as I can, but there is some of it that is easy to miss.

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The Gallachian Brigands plight is rather tragic, the powers that be are unwilling to help when they were suffering, and when they finally take matters into their own hands to fix their situation, they smash them down back into misery and death.

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Unlike most of the Vesatria Saga maps, this is a very simple boss kill map. No new objective after completing the first like in the last three chapters, no complicated path to get to said boss, just walk over there and kill him. Now there are side objectives to accomplish, and I will try for them all, but it is still a rather short and simple map.

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Now I am going to split my army a bit here, most importantly

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I need to send Sheela and/or Zayid north (with a few defenders) to talk to this tragic Barl fellow,

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and send my cavalry (plus some infantry for cleanup) to the east to cutoff the bandits that are fleeing with dropable loot, although I did make a bit of a mistake on the first move, as I should have had Merida where Troy is, as

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She would have had a better chance of avoiding this enemy breaking his droppable loot.

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Also, I dropped my cash count enough that Cezar will give Athol his Lucre when waiting. Nice to see this show up, after failing to trigger it last map.

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Not having to deal with a Deadly Edge was well worth the Edelstern use, and having started him going that direction, I think I will keep him going north.

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What a nasty thing to deal with so early in a map.

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Zade is turning out rather well, but I should probably hold Zade back a little. He is already level 10, and he can't promote until after chapter 15, but he is just such a good, and useful unit.

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Cezar trade equips Zade to something else to preserve the Edelstern (and gets a spare Main Gauche that dropped). I will also head him north for now, as the nearest (and easiest to reach) chest is that way.

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This is less clearly a mistake as the first move was, as this means

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Troy has to try his hand at killing the thief. With Multichance (which he does trigger), he does have a better chance overall of killing this thief before he can attack back, but

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Alas, he missed three of those hits, and if they failed to kill, Merida would have a better chance to dodge, but the luck needed to get these jeweled knives just wasn't with me. I could have probably played slower, and sent Zade after them for a much more reliable kill, but the enemies on that side are heading towards an escape point at the bottom of the map, so I wasn't sure if I would have the time.

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If you were keen eyed, you also might have noticed that Dune finished off the first thief that broke its jeweled knife. Truth be told, both Theodel, and Dune will be following the eastern path to help out those cavs that are trying to cut off the fleeing loot enemies. Plus those are the two I plan on using on that little drake in the corner, but that will come a fair bit latter on.

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Quite a few of these guys want to run (like the loot carriers in the east), but

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We are going to try and squeeze as much value from this chapter as we can

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But...Sheela is kinda right, this kinda slaughter is kinda unnecessary. Plus she can eek more value from some of these foes by talking to them.

I will also note that a lot of enemies decided to kill themselves on Zayid.

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For the cav side of things, Troy once again triggered Multichance with a cutlass on a thief, and misses three, so Merida had to finish things.

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And that is particularly useful loot, as I have already had to buy an extra healing staff already.

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This little attack, while minor in damages, serves two clear purposes

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First is to get Cezar a level, which gets him more survivability, which makes for the thing I would most want in a thief (I guess extra AGL for more dodge would have been nice too)

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Second, it lets Sheela get the kill with her Rambling Rose

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The party split ha been cemented here, although Cezar is going to go between the two paths for the needs of his utility, as he will also have to get over to the drake side of things once that path is cleared.

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I will note that some of these axe guys have been trying to break open a new escape path by breaking some rocks, but they will need another turn before they are through.

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So this is a little bit of a mistake, a rather foolish one really, as

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I have forgotten to use this stat booster that would give him the one-shot. I explicitly gave him it to use it during the down time...sigh

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Merida and Dune work together to get a coin purse from one, and

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fix my foolish little mistake from before.

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Troy also secures a Hurlbat from another of these enemies while I am at it.

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On the other front I have hit a bit of a lull, as I can't talk to Barl yet, even though Zayid could reach him. Instead he takes advantage of him having an axe to clear a boulder, just like the "enemies" above us.

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Now I am preparing Sheela to get some enemy phase action, as the enemy she is in range of has a 1-2 range weapon, but she can take the hit, and Athol is close enough to heal if need be.

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Seems I was only a turn early on the Barl talk, as these fleeing bandits have broken open a path to escape.

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And Sheela reminds us that she has an important side objective she can now achieve. It also kinda sets up the talks she is going to have latter in this chapter. They might be available before this point, but they certainly aren't available at the start, and I haven't gotten around to them yet.

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I probably should have given this kill to Sheela, but this move lets him block off the path out of that spawning cave, and I kinda want her version of the Barl talk.

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Although before that, I have Athol heal her, and let Cezar grab the first treasure chest, for a piece of loot that I analysis paralysised my way into not using on my last run. I am not entirely sure who I will give it to yet, although Merida is a tempting option.

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Now it is time for that Barl talk.

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It is kinda odd how well telegraphed the Sheela version of this talk is, with how poorly the Zayid version is. This talk being one of the few hints we get that Zayid could do it as well, but by the time you get it, Zayid no longer can.

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If the Yapa leadership thinks like our heroes, Zadrian and his strategist Garlan, he might not have a place left for him. The game repeated shows us the monstrous stagnancy of the nobility, and the way the stratification of the social classes tend to crush people like poor Barl, and even the "good" guys are willing to do that crushing. It is interesting to move the moral compass of this map towards Sheela, who is a bit of an outsider to the world, someone who does not know this world well, but wants to explore it. She is more of an audience surrogate than Zade is, but fade from the spotlight as this game has a large cast to share in the story.

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And like that Barl and his little group of bandits escape to safety, and the first big side objective is complete.

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On the other front, Theodel can now one-shot some of these guys, and I can even give the thief kill to Dune

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As the cavs keep pressing on.

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Last thing for the turn, is Zayid's talk with Sheela, as she is having a bit of an issue with joining our little army. She feels uncomfortable with the visceral acts of killing.

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Poor Sheela was drawn in by the story of knights as heroic do-gooders, but must now face their violent and murderous reality.

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Zayid gives me the vibes of a former babysitter of Sheela (no more than a teen himself when she was a kid), that made friends with the kid, and keeps an eye on her even into adulthood.

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I hope she does keep getting tougher, as I can't help training her.

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With Barl talked to, the rest of his little group leaves on player phase, but

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Now reinforcements keep coming from that northern region. I knew this well enough to bottle up one of them

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And now I can bottle up another group of them while chipping them down fo-

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...oops, Zayid kinda crit him instead. Plus I will note these guys give out a bit of chump change on death as well. Well I guess I can cripple the other one with Zade so Sheela can get a ki-

AM-JKLULRfq2Ink3t0-YeF9szXbWUA9Qn6glYZ89

I guess I should have expected Zade to be too powerful to merely cripple at enemy at this stage. On the other side of the map you might notice me keeping Troy out of range of

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This...thing. He has been netoriously bad at dodging knives this map, so I held him out of range, but Merida has more move, and could just barely get the jump on him now, but

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It would open up a slim possibility of death. In fact, I will need a few movement points of Canto to get out of that range...yeah I might have to reshuffle my troops over there to arra-

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...Or he can make my life really easy, and move right into range.

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This should deal with that little pe-

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Well...its not like that is immediately dangerous, but it is a bit of a nuisance to get her healed up for any more action.

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Now Troy can draw in some of the outliers over there for some action, and that plan to feed Sheela a kill actually worked this turn.

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Hopefully that Troy play will make things a little interesting, as we have a few turns for Cezar to get over to that door near the Drake, and the fish in a barrel nature of respawning bandits is already losing what little appeal it had.

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Even critting twice didn't seem that dangerous, when that critical damage is 6.

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Similar sort of idea with the poison this hit causes, but like Merida, he is going to need to head back for a heal before he sees serious combat again.

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And Theo gets an easy kill from this

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And he is rather safe, as the enemy range he is in, is merely that of the thief whom is fleeing to escape the north-east corner of the map.

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Merida gets her heal in, and I think I will have Merida keep going, as I should have someone check on that Skeleton space sooner or latter.

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On the following turn Sheela finally levels off of these fish in a barrel reinforcements, and it was just as dull as dealing with them is. In fact I have stopped even trying to attack the other ones with Zade, and they also haven't even bothered to attack him.

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Although once Merida replaces Zade on the next turn, I let her get a level on the kill.

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There is more walking around on this map than you would think for its size, as I have been spinning my wheels waiting for people to reach things for a few turns now, but Zade should reach the Skeleton next turn, and Cezar should reach the door the turn after...

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And there goes the last of the boss's real defenders.

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Now to search that Skeleton for

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...again with the choice. Is the silver key also an item that can't be traded?

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...sigh. Good job Zayid on getting a blank levelup. I don't know why I have bothered killing these guys.

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At least Athol gets a better level, although I would prefer Zayid get better levels than Athol.

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I will note that Zade is technically in the bosses range here, but he doesn't actually move (at least not without some kind of provocation).

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The next turn. Cezar finally reaches the door to the drake, and

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I have a bit of an awkward problem. Thankfully the Elder Cornelius does have a brave effect, so

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As long as Theo can hit with this, Dune can kill this thing, but if Theo misses, someone will have to die...

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Unless I wait for a turn, in which case I have a second shot to get that 93, as he can backup one space, and use one of Cezar's herbs

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As Zade leaves, Troy can take his place (both healed and given the heal over time buff to counter the last of the poison), and gets a fairly solid level from it.

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And that just makes him more likely to get surprise kills. Useful, but frustratingly unreliable.

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Yeah I have been killing a few fish again, and Zade is walking over to that door he needs to use the silver key on.

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Fortunately Theodel gets his hit, so this Wyrm will fall, and he even gets an interesting resistance level off of it.

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And I am finally paying the price for killing those peaceful fish I so thoroughly trapped, as now aggressive ambush spawns are coming from those caves

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And if anyone else was blocking up this hole that would be extremely scary, but her excellent avoid has defanged this terror. Interesting enough, after she enemy phases this terror

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A non-ambush spawn arrives. Yeah the spawns from these caves are kinda wierd, and I am done attacking them now. Honestly don't know why I started again really.

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Although as you can see from the name, the one from the other cave is one of the aggressive ones...

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Now the Elder Cornelius does what I saved it for, kill a dragon

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For a full 100 exp, and a level.

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With some nice sellable loot from it too, and finally

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an excellent weapon from the chest he was guarding. This little Standard Spear halves all damage taken, which is a nice boon to have around.

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Although there is still more waiting, as I have that central chest to get, and two infantry to march over to it. In fact, I think I will skip over to

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When Zade opens up the silver door. Don't worry, all you missed was random bandits hitting their heads against Zayid on enemy phase, and some walking around. Speaking of which

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...Zayid got ANOTHER blank levelup from this nonsense on the enemy phase immediately after opening the door. I kinda though Zayid had better growths than cancer man, but Zayid is reminding me a lot of Arran at the moment.

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Although we still have a few turns before we open that chest, like 2

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...or 3 turns after I remember to get this Cezar and Sheel talk, and even Cezar has keyed into Sheela's reluctance to kill.

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And Cezar strikes right at the jugular of Sheela's misconception about the nobility of knights.

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Although it is interesting that Cezar also sees this same softness in Zade as well. I don't think he is as accurate at that assessment, I mean Zade is not even at the naivete of Reese, but I guess Cezar was expecting someone far more jaded.

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Alas on that enemy phase, Zayid is finally low enough on health that

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I need to heal, although this does mean that Athol will have to take a hit (that she can safely take).

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Alas, I am one turn away from getting that last chest, and I am getting the rest of my unit (or at least the range units) ready for the boss kill.

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See, Athol could take that hit.

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There we go, another magic weapon, which is excellent. Now I will wait one more turn for that kill, that way Sheela can contribute, and then

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Its time to take advantage of a boss that is too dumb to have a 1-2 range weapon, and as such

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is a sad censored bile spewing sitting duck.

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he doesn't even get the dignity of the last boss, with some event to save him from this blatantly obvious flaw.

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And Dune gets another level. Admittedly all those blanks from Zayid, are making me complain less about this kinda level from Dine.

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But this whole chapter, and update have been just 22 turns.

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As Sheela can get the guaranteed kill here.

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Such an empty gesture at your death Dawes. If only it had the range to hit the foes that slayed thee.

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I guess that did bring her to that big 10 DEX threashold.

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Sheela does try her best to secure the safty of Barl. I must admit, I didn't play this map as pacifistically as Sheela probably would have liked.

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And now we get some sly commentary on the nature of capitalist democracies, with the thin guise of Venecia over it.

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We even get a bit of capitalism bad talk in there, and I see a little of that naivette Cezar hinted at before, but

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Kaga just can't help slipping back into some big man history, with the idea that these critiques of the system is directed at Ritton, simply because he is the current Dolge. Although it is funny to see their history with Beatrice coming up a little here, as they remember how terrifygin she was to them as young boys.

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And then we get a hint at events at the heart of Vestaria Saga history.

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It is interesting that it was the Yapa that built this underground temple to contain a Netherdrake. It implies an importance to the Yapa, that has been lost with the rise of the Venecian republic.

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Seeing that Gallachia was once a powerful nation layed low by a Netherdrake, it makes me wonder if the Gallachian Bandits were named after the ruins they used as their base, or were they people descended from the acient peoples of this destroyed Gallachia.

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Also Barl gives Cezar some time for comedy, and

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another solid stat booster I will have to agonize over. The prize for that little talk earlier in the map.

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I also really appreciate that they bring this up. A lot of games just assume characters you recruited will be with you the whole way through, without addressing this very question; why are they still here when they story has moved beyond their interests.

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And they give two believable reasons here, liking their leadere enough to follow them anyway, and a desire for the adventure of war, over the mundanity of their normal life.

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Athol also spills the beans about Alysia to Zade (even though the player already knows, and I appreciate them covering this informational disconnect).

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And we see some of the practicality of Zade's mind that makes me think Cezar is wrong about the naivette of Zade. I guess he is more complicated than so simple a dichotomy.

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And we are finally getting to the story of next chapter, and it is one of my favorites. The first of the big siege maps, which I feel are the things Vestaria Saga does best.

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And like any good Vestaria Saga map, we will have a dramatic little time-limit to deal with, so that we keep moving, and pressure us to act.

 

We are going to start an interesting chapter next time, and I hope to see you all there. In the meantime stay safe, and take care everyone.

 

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On 7/20/2022 at 12:11 PM, Eltosian Kadath said:

I guess that did bring her to that big 10 DEX threashold.

Coming back to this game after playing Berwick Saga most certainly changed how I look at things.

Ultimately success in this game depends on taking out dangerous targets. Failure to kill before enemy phase tends to be devastating, so reliability is the most important quality.

Like, Sheela used to look pathetic to me, but her Dex is likely notably higher then what most others got at the time. And of course she gets a free Rambling Rose that for the time only she can use. It just makes her comparatively a very reliable asset by the time she joins.

Same with Haldyn. Why use a sword-locked guy over the axe bros with their ranged attacks?
But Haldyn starts out very strong. While Ash and Jean struggle to compensate for the pathetic accuracy of axes, Haldyn has all the speed and dex he needs right out of the bat, He can't do ranged attacks, but he performs much better in any other situation because his stats allow him to utilize a wide selection of weapons effectively.

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13 hours ago, BrightBow said:

Coming back to this game after playing Berwick Saga most certainly changed how I look at things.

Ultimately success in this game depends on taking out dangerous targets. Failure to kill before enemy phase tends to be devastating, so reliability is the most important quality.

I have mentioned a few times, but the difference between Berwick Saga's Player-Enemy initiative slot system makes for a much more different game that the Fire Emblem (or Vestaria Saga in this case) Player-Enemy phase system.

 

11 hours ago, BrightBow said:

Like, Sheela used to look pathetic to me, but her Dex is likely notably higher then what most others got at the time. And of course she gets a free Rambling Rose that for the time only she can use. It just makes her comparatively a very reliable asset by the time she joins.

I think you are overestimating her value a fair bit, as unless she gets her personal weapon, she does not do the damage you need to deal with serious threats when she joins. Sure there are times where you have whittled something down to the health where Sheela can go for a more accurate kill, but in all likelihood, you needed to chip a major threat down with someone less accurate, before Sheela can go for the more accurate kill.

Honestly, the high damage & low accuracy vs low damage & high accuracy trade-off is a bit more balanced than you might expect by the way rolling multiple dice works, for instance having two chance to kill at 50% is better odds than needing two 85% to hit for the kill instead (75% chance of kill vs 72.25%).

 

Spoiler

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Seems Kaga is starting things off with even more social commentary on capitalist democracies.

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Really, Dulles couldn't wait til the end of the year for the next election? I guess they are emphasizing that coups like this are meant to end democracy. We do also get an interesting little history lesson about Venecia, and Vestaria, but

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Zade doesn't actually care, so lets move on

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Only two days to cross Venecia by foot...that makes roughly between 15-40 miles long, which seems exceedingly small for a country. I guess this is a nation that is merely part of an island...

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Well, that means we are going to have prisoners to save.

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Seems the Deed wasn't done yet then. Also it seems Vilweiss hasn't learned his history, although I guess I skipped over the Venecia history lesson as well. This reminds me a lot of the first Punic war, another predominantly mercantile nation that used mercenaries in war, the Carthaginian, when they lost were unable to pay those mercenaries that worked so hard in their war, which triggered them to try and siege Carthage, only for them to be defeated by another mercenary army (that had the common sense to insist the Carthaginians pay them up front).

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Oh wow, they don't even have access to the treasury yet...yeah this coup is not done at all.

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Spoken with all hypocrisy of-

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I appreciate Vilweiss calling out Dulles's bullshit, keeps me from making too political of statement (just feel glad I missed the screenshot about Dulles and Ritton being a progress/conservative dichotomy).

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Seems we have another circlet maiden to protect this chapter too, hopefully this one isn't captured like the last one.

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Although I guess it is more this flyer trio that get the honor of protecting her.

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So we will have a split deployment to deal with here

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Unfortunately we also have to bench three units this map. It was a tough decision, and it might have been better to switch the axey-boys with Dune, and Haldyn, but I like axe bros. I guess this means we are waiting another map for Haldyn to have his debut. As for how to make the split

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Most of my army is in the north, as they need to hold off some forces early on, but

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I need an elite force (plus my thief) to sneak into the city via the southern route. This is a little dangerous, as Troy and Zade could help a fair bit in the north, but I want to have my powerful forces already prepared in the south, so I waste less time preparing for our break in, as we are on a time limit. Speaking of which, I think I will end this update roughly around when we sneak our troops into the city.

Also, it is interesting that I am allowed to change Zade's position this map, often lords (and even Zade himself) have set positions that cannot be changed...

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Much as people joke about the Ryoma holding back for 20/25 turns, I appreciate explicit warnings like this about in-game time-limits.

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Its funny to start with taking an unassailable city, as the first we take, but I guess the taking of Ostia in FE6 was a kinda similar situation...actually those are very similar from a story perspective.

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And we are given our first hint towards getting into the city, although its a little more complicated than that.

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As we need some fine lady like Merida to escort his lost daughter back home.

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Yeah, this being a choice makes a lot of sense.

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And then we get one of the most useful items we can get in an ironman, as

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It grants you immunity to crits.

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There is actually a fair bit of useful information around here about how to break into the city, as

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She is setting up a way we ca go from the docks the innkeeper can sneak us into, to the defensive works, that then lead to the heart of the city (and then to the palace from there)

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Now I have Troy clear this guy out, as while I will have to rely on a small force sneaking in to open the path for the rest of my units, there are a few different way I can bring my army as a whole into Venecia, and this helps clear the path to one of them.

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I do have Zade visit this funky shop called Sutler, but I kinda forget

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You can only look at at the shop once... eh hopefully its not that big of deal.

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Now this explains the southern route in. You can open the two bridges there to open a path into the city, but

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You have to open one side now, and the other when Cezar gets into the docks.

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Ah yes, visiting Sutler unlocks Sutler's shop, a minor way to buy/sell things from the preparation screen. A lot of times his wares are very underwhelming, but having access to a shop in the preps is nice in general.

Now the other way in the city is through

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these 6 doors in the north, which has lots of ranged defenders to pepper anyone trying to work through it. And some of those guys are more trouble than this scrub here, and while I consider making this attack, I am not entirely certain if all these guys are stationary, so I hold off. Now you could just brute force your way through these door, but you would have to deal with things like

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A 1-3 range brave effect tome that increases avoid

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On an enemy that has a 25% chance of attacking first. Now truth be told, Theodel can take that fairly well with Prody support. but

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There is also a 2-3 range bow with a crit rate in there as well. If you can get into the ramparts with all those ranged units, you can trigger a switch that opens the whole way through, and get the drop on all of those enemies with Bows.

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Also, its looks like I get to test if these enemies move this enemy phase.

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We also get to learn about two particularly scary mercenaries in here, that are a bit unsatisfied with this whole treacherous coup attempt.

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Seems they do move, and that rather hurt...

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So she goes back to heal, and use that Multichance skillbook on her.

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Also I might as well prepare this path, in the event that I can take it.

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Eh, I have the time to see what he says before I return with his daughter.

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Not much action yet, but I am moving people down a little, as

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Those forces just behind the door are about to break out of there, although we are out of their range for now.

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Also the trio of flying green units see some combat, which prompts them to

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Make the tactically smart maneuver, and go on the offensive.

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And we have another of those healing locations, like a Lucca village situation.

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And now we have the three fliers to use as well. I guess I can talk about them now in one of my little spoiler box comments

Spoiler

The easiest to talk about is Aslanne, as she is a pre-promote that is so endgame ready, that the next time we will see her is the endgame. She is immune to crits, has the Thracia Wrath skill, so always crits on counter attacks, has Mettle, the more traditional low health bonus to crit skill, and the Commander skill like Zade to boost ally hit. She is bonkers good, and we don't get to keep her.

Next we have Yaeri, and she is the slightly higher level, higher bases of the two we get to keep, and most people consider her the better of the two we keep, as she has skills people see as more reliable. She gets Multichance for more opportunities to hit, as that famously high flier AGL stat grows, and the more minor Aegis, so a MAG% chance of ignoring an attack (and she does have a bit of MAG for that, and to use Magic Swords in a pinch).

Next we have Rubina, and my opinion of her is slightly skewed by my first run, as she ended up capping STR comically fast, which made her the best flyer (and one of my best units) rather quickly. Her skills are focused on crits, so she gets the Critical Edge skill for a base crit rate, and the Wrath skill, which gives her a +25% crit rate when counter attacking.

It is also important to note two things, first that all three of these fliers have Bonds with eachother, which makes them better together. Second is that all of this game's flyers (and only the fliers) have the Doyenne available to them, and it is the weapon I repaired most on my first run. It is a simple weapon, it is the only 1-2 range Standard Spear available to the player, and it has solid stats (including a 10 base crit rate), and a two hit brave effect. It gives so much extra utility to fliers.

 

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I guess this confirms that this beast doesn't move, although it does worry me, that I didn't notice until now. I will note this for a bit latter, as it means I can have Theodel safely kill that one archer I looked at before, but we have much bigger fish to fry... lets see what we can do to power through this mess.

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This is a bit of a spicy start, as one of these guys has the weapon that is effective against mages, but it was the only thing he could reach, and he one shots it...

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This was a little dumb, as I legitimately didn't notice that she didn't double until I made this attack. To be fair, she doubles with all her other weapons...

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So Zayid needs to fix this mess...yeah this enemy phase might end up getting a little dicier than I would like. I also considered using a purely melee weapon, but I stuck with the 1-2 range Hatchet, as it gives him a chance for an Ambush crit that might save him from something...

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Unfortunately the terrain is keeping Merida from reaching the action (and she might not survive getting much closer than this anyway), but going here prevents the morning star enemy from reaching Theo.

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Yeah, that wasn't a very good player phase...hopefully Zade can draw in the Arbalest hit (and in retrospect Cezar might have done a better job of that with his MUCH lower defense), but hopefully this turns out OK.

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On the other side, the Doyenne continues to show its value

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And I can even trade it over to let Rubina enemy phase with it

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While our pre-promote grabs our first promotion item. It is only for non-magic infantry units, and none of my non-magic infantry are quite ready for it, as they either aren't close to even level 10, and/or are waiting for a few skills from level-up first.

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...that is a little worrying, as he is certainly the one that can be hit most...

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Fortunately he did have one dodge

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And he proves that he does have a growth rate with the counter kill...

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And he just barely survives the enemy phase. I was kinda expecting at least one of the archers to go after the far squishier Sheela (or distract the Arbalest), but even with the way things went, his survival rate was in the mid 60s to low 70s range with his avoid. Alright, lets clear this out

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Good bye Kessler

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Sheela is taking you out of business.

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...What a great level-up for her.

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There goes the Javelineer. Javelins are kinda weird in this game, range 2-3 weapons, and only usable by the enemy only Javelin Knight class. Well that leaves things open for

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Zayid to kill that Arbalest

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I do find it really funny that a unit with a generic portrait has a battle and death quote.

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Yeah...this move was rather reckless. He lives the hit, but the 1-2 range, and effective damage mean I can't really heal him up safely after this hit

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Although he did level on the hit, but with missing one of his hits

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...sigh, I guess I can go for the ~30% chance of the kill here (although the ~80% chance if Jean had hit both would have been less annoying)

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I think I will test out the AI a little, as Theo is his highest damage target here (after I moved Athol out of its range), but it has no chance to kill. Plus attacking risks a ~13% chance of him dying, as opposed to the 2-3% chance of Jean or Ash dying.

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On the flier front, they are doing fine. Actually this is a little bit of a misplay, as I meant to put Yaeri on the "entrance" for her to get healed, but I think it is actually the other space that looks like an entrance that the game meant.

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...that mage looking figure just used a far-heal staff on the Morning Star that has cemented itself as a thorn in my side.

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...ugh, how annoying. Perhaps its just the avoiding counter attack that led to this attack. I guess I shouldn't complain too much, Jean did live through that.

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Good job Prody,

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You earned this excellent level by removing that annoying low crit rate enemy from the map.

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This guy had to die, as he just deals too much damage to Merida, and she will have to pass by him for far too long (plus the effective damage one-shot is a nice touch)

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And a level is rather nice.

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I can almost see the monkey's paw finger curl here. I asked for Athol to get the blank levels instead of Zayid last chapter, and it seems that dark wish was granted here.

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This is another little stumbling block for Merida's advance. If this guy moves, he can use that high damage brave effect (plus a crit rate) to possibly even one-round her. I have a plan to deal with him, but it is going to cost a turn or two to pull this off.

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So we wait a little. Meanwhile with the fliers

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Its just so easy to slaughter these guys with the Doyenne, and

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Rubina gets a workable level from this (although its hard not to feel disappointed after my Strength blessed Rubina from last run).

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Time to see if Yaeri can get a better level with the Doyenne.

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Alright, time to chip this healer a little. I guess one advantage of him healing the Morning Star was him coming into attack range.

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With her high avoid, the anti-crit ring, and a Prody boost, she can take a hit from Nieman's Repeater Bow best, and is at the edge of his range here. If he takes the bait, I should be able to wipe him out next turn (and get Merida back on the road). On the flyer front

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Things have become a little more dangerous as archers are starting to head their direction now, but as you can see, Yaeri has just enough move to kill the lancer heading towards her, and canto out of bow range.

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Thanks to Prody's boost she can live this for certain, but she manages to dodge both instead.

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Time for me to emphasize the value of Bonds, see here she will have to face a minute chance of death to a double crit, but

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Move Zayid into range, and she faces no crit, and even less damage.

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Sheela's personal bow continues to show its dominance.

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Yeah, the hit-rate isn't great, but

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It gets the kill, and isn't very high risk

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And just in case that one Archer to the north moves like his horsed brethren, I trade switch him to a hurlbat instead.

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Merida can now rush south again, and I can test if the archer remaining will move

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I am glad I got the Doyenne back into Yaeri's hands, as her extra point of strength is needed to one round the Archers. Speaking of which, I guess Rubina needs a real weapon to use

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Like the classic cutlass.

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I am also giving the folks sneaking in via the docks a small boon with Aslanne, as she should be able to slaughter that otherwise kinda dangerous cavalry. Actually, the fliers have a lot of enemy phased action this turn

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That Thracia crit skill of hers is very potent, and removes this future obstacle.

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Yaeri also gets a solid survivability level-up

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Unfortunately I couldn't switch Rubina to Cutlass, and she instead uses the Estoc, a weak weapon that gives the wielder +3 defense and the Ambush skill (and 15 crit to boot) so a nice defensive option, but even if she had double crit here, she couldn't kill with its meager power.

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Yaeri is just on Archer popping duty at this point,

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And with a Cutlass, Rubina can deal with the other guff.

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I am also getting Aslanne back to the rest of the fliers just in case something goes wrong.

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On the other side of the map, we can finally start making some progress to wards our main objective of the update,

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As Merida have reunited this Father and Daughter pair,

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Which earns us a free trip on the ferry

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For Merida and the three troops I have ready there.

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It is time to go now, although I appreciate that it gives you the opportunity to delay this if you haven't gotten everyone in position yet.

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Plus we get a free full heal on everyone taking the trip, to reduce the chance of softlocking presumably.

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A debt well paid little Lannister, as these units should be able to crack open this impregnable city like a Faberge egg

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Now that enemy in front of the bridge is very dangerous, and he drops a weapon when killed, so I want to kill him, but first I need to clear away some of the generics in the way, so it will be a few turns before any major action on this front.

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This is almost certainly more cautious than I need to be, as I have access to the stockpile to heal.

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Also I didn't have the time to visit this before, but I wanted to emphasize that they reveal this major option for getting into the city.

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Seems Athol is back to really Athol level-ups. You also might notice I am using the healing over time staff, as those troops have a fair bit of waiting ahead of them.

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Back with the fliers it is same old, same old.

On the next turn I make the biggest mistake of this LP so far. My plan was for breaking into the city to be the end of this first update here, but it turn 10, I have hit the point I planned to stop, and I think, oh its only turn 10, lets press on a little more, maybe til I open the city more widely, so instead of taking a break, I press on, first with

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What will be the last bit of action for this front for a while, as Theodel finally takes the kill I notice at what was almost the start of the map.

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And things are still going slowly for the infiltrators, but that will probably change next turn.

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And then we have a little event where Beatrice is captured, and

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Everyone gets the opportunity to call Dulles out as the hypocritical scum he is.

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And the Nim tome wielder

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Does survivable damage to Theodel. Actually, I have no idea why this guy has a 1% crit rate here

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As you can see, Nim has no innate crit, he has none of the crit skills, he doesn't have a bond, he doesn't even have a displayed crit rate on his stats screen from the start of the map here...is this some kind of bug, or display glitch, or something?

And then I have my first death, for the most pathetic, and embarrassing reason possible

AM-JKLVgSWCnrZILWU7WnE-paF3XvPUiWGEEup5n

I just forgot to move the fliers, so Rubina died. I was so flabbergasted by her death that I didn't even think to take a screenshot, as I was so sure that I had moved them that turn...it was even the very last of the reinforcements they would have to deal with too...Sorry Rubina, you deserved far, far better.

I think I will end this update here, on the enemy phase after the point where I should have stopped to take a break. A bit of a warning, on the playthrough side of things, I stubbornly continued on, and little mistakes due to exhaustion are going to show up again...

 

That had a bit of a tragic end there. Until next time stay safer than my units, and take better care than I did.

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